To create your free account, please enter your email address and password below. Please ensure your email is correct as you will recieve a validation email before you can login.

Email:
Nickname:
Password:
Confirm Password:
Weekly newsletter:
Daily newsletter:

To log in to your account, please enter your email address and password below:

Email:
Password:
Forgot your password?

To reset your password, please enter your email address below and we will send you a link to reset it.

Email:
Submitted by Gwynne Dixon on August 16 2010 - 15:26

As the controversy surrounding EA's Medal of Honor gathers pace, TVG takes a wide view of the issues...

Somewhat predictably, the controversy surrounding EA's Medal of Honor game has made the jump into mainstream media over the weekend. A fitting analogy for this would be like a virus mutating and going airborne in the human population - previously it was an isolated disease passed by contact from one human to the next and now there's no telling how it might spread. This is the mainstream media piece in question from the 'Fox & Friends' show on US television:


To put all of this in context though, here's a brief recap of how the controversy has grown so far: two months ago, a UK-based website posted a preview of the Medal of Honor multiplayer beta. In it, the article's writer makes clear his concern that gamers can effectively play as the Taliban in EA DICE's multiplayer component of the game. The basic gist of the argument is that, with the War in Afghanistan still ongoing and the human losses so raw, making a game where players are able to shoot Coalition troops while playing as the Taliban touches on a painful nerve.

The site in question subsequently spoke with EA DICE on this issue and the multiplayer game's Producer, Patrick Liu told them, "We can't get away from what the setting is and who the factions are, but in the end, it's a game, so we're not pushing or provoking too hard." His words are echoed by the statement EA offers in the Fox video above:

"Medal of Honor is set in today's War, putting players in the boots of today's soldier . . . We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of us have been doing this since we were seven. If someone's the cop, someone's got to be the robber, someone's got to be the pirate and someone's got to be the alien. In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone's got to be the Taliban."

Those are the words of Amanda Taggart, an EA PR Manager in the US. The problem with both her quote and Patrick Liu's is that they appear to trivialise the issue. It's precisely the sort of thing that's going to outrage a Gold Star mother like Karen Meredith, who speaks in the 'Fox & Friends' piece. Remember that she might not know the first thing about how a videogame is put together - all she'll see is a form of entertainment that appears to cheapen what her son fought and died for. To get responses from EA that appear to trivialise the issue further can only make things worse, even though in actuality these EA reps are just trying to explain the game with punchy one-liners and simplistic analogies that are fit for media consumption (I'm sure trivialising an issue this serious is not their intention).

I've had the opportunity to see most of what EA's shown to the press on Medal of Honor so far. The first and by far most important thing to remember is that the single-player and multiplayer games are completely separate and different from one another. In fact, I'm hard pressed to think of any game which has had less continuity between both game components. The two different parts of the game were created by two different studios for a start (EALA's Danger Close studio on the single-player, and EA DICE on the multiplayer). By the admission of Danger Close's own Richard Farrelly, the game's Senior Creative Director, continuity between single and multiplayer is the last thing on both studios' minds.

What's sad about this media furore, though, is that what I've seen of Medal of Honor's single-player game so far (which doesn't position players as members of the Taliban) has done a very good job of portraying the individual stories of US soldiers in Afghanistan. Unlike so many other first- or third-person shooter games, which place gamers in a setting attached to a ridiculous plot that only appears to be there so that it can justify the shooting of everything and everyone in sight, Medal of Honor's single-player campaign actually manages to take itself seriously. One particular level I saw opened with a US Army Ranger riding on a Chinook as a message he'd left on his family's answer-phone played over the top. This message, which had the soldier downplaying the dangers he was facing to allay the fears of his wife and daughter, was actually genuinely touching in my opinion (and that's not something I say very often of first-person shooter gaming).

And it's not just that. Throughout everything I've seen of Danger Close's single-player story, the respect and dignity afforded to US soldiers has clearly been of utmost importance to the developer. Danger Close isn't necessarily making any larger moral points through all of this, however, but merely depicting how hard it is for our servicemen and -women over there. EA DICE's multiplayer, on the other hand, is a completely different kettle of fish. It is a game in the gamiest sense of the word. There is no story or plot to the whole thing; when a player kills an opponent, a '+10 Experience Points' bonus flies up from their body; it features no back story to the characters, no cross-over to the single-player, and no moral engagement in the experience beyond running around shooting other players with guns.

The various maps or settings in this multiplayer game are somewhat fictionalised locations based on Afghan terrain and, yes, the team-based modes portray players as either US Tier 1 Operators or members of the Taliban. This, it seems to me, is merely a by-product of the game's overall setting. If the multiplayer game were to have any link to the single-player game at all (and not be an entirely different game altogether), then this appears to be inevitable. After all, if EA DICE hadn't offered Taliban characters as opposing forces and had merely placed a team of US soldiers against another team of US soldiers, then this would have been an even more insensitive decision given the tragic history of so-called 'friendly fire' in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade.

Let us know what you think of this whole debacle in the comments section below...

If you wish to link to this article, here's a permalink to this page:

Comment

Sign Up and Post with a Profile

Join TVG for a free account, or sign in if you are already a member. You can still post anonymously.

Log in using Facebook

Respect Other Members

Please respect other users, post wisely and avoid flaming... Terms & Conditions

 

Pages:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • Next
User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 05th Nov 2010 12:13, Post No: 61

Further to my previous comments on the 19th October, I've noted that HMV is also offering Black Ops for only £7.99 with the trade in of MoH. I'll be taking full advantage of that offer, as losing £7.99 on the game is far less annoying than losing almost £40.

 

(I wonder which of the main characters in Black Ops they'll be killing off, though) ;-)


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 02nd Nov 2010 14:07, Post No: 60

Digital Tarmac has done there review on Medal of Honor Check it out!


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sat 30th Oct 2010 23:38, Post No: 59

Post 40 - its a forum about a game, who gives a [#@!?] how people spell,get over it..
spell checkers are about as annoying as the fan boys on here


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 29th Oct 2010 11:26, Post No: 58

been on the mp for days,not touched anything else


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 29th Oct 2010 11:04, Post No: 57

wee wee hahaha


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Fri 29th Oct 2010 10:58, Post No: 56

Nino Figjam I suggest you remove your shades and look again at the graphics! the chopper gunner level is fantastic!.

Man im I glad I dont listen to people like you! phew,And you smell of wee wee


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Sun 24th Oct 2010 21:53, Post No: 55

For UK customers, my local Gamestation is offering a guarranteed money off deal on Black ops for trading MoH in at time of purchase so thats what Il be doing. I imagine all Gamestation stores will be doing the same. I only wish Id not bothered paying 40quid for this. Greap SP but way too short. And the MP is just a rehashed BC2 but without some of the smarter ideas. Left me too skint to afford New Vegas so Im pretty annoyed at myself.

 

6/10


By: Nino Figjam

Added:Sun 24th Oct 2010 01:21, Post No: 54

DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!!

This game is not worth too much of my time to rate so I'll be brief. DON'T WASTE YOUR MONEY!!! I completed this game on the hardest difficulty in just over 4 hours. Graphics are poor, gameplay is average, AI is pathetic, Multiplayer is better than single player, but multiplayer gameplay could be compared to the original Halo, there is nothing new or exiting about this game. It is extremely over priced for such a pathetic attempt at a FPS. Knowing what I know now, If I saw this game on the shelf with $10 on it, I would complain about being over charged. Spare yourselves the grief and wait for COD7 at least they know how to make FPS games.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Thu 21st Oct 2010 10:04, Post No: 53

8 out of 10. Sorry ..No. The game is not at all worth that. 6/7 at best. Why...because it's the same as before as before as before as before.

All this type of game does is follow a path laid down by all the FPS games in last few years or so. MW was practically copied by MW2 in most respects but failed on the multiplayer section for me by not using dedi servers (Yes I am a PC Gamer) These games are single players with tacked on Multi games unlike the Battlefield series where it is the other way around.

MOH has basically done the same thing. Yes it looks lovely, yes the sound is good but it's just too predictable.

The multi experience in my mind is also a joke. It's basically camp in a darkened or covered spot and keep shooting at movement till someone gets a lucky shot in and then respawn and find another spot to do the same. This multi player would have been so much better with larger map.

The next one will be Black Ops and it will be the same again..you know it will.


User avatar
By: Anonymous

Added:Tue 19th Oct 2010 16:39, Post No: 52

Thanks for the helpful review. I wish I'd read it before forking out near £40 for the game. Let's see: £40 divided by 5 hours of gameplay = £8 per hour. I'm fairly certain you could get a better-than-average hooker for less than that in Amsterdam...

 

Seriously, though, the gameplay was very, very good, and at times I was so immersed in the unfolding drama that I sat there with sweaty palms wondering where the bloody hell my air support was. When the game abruptly ended (*SPOILER ALERT* with another MW2 rip-off involving the killing-off of a leading character), I was genuinely confused and waiting for the next chapter to start.

I'm not particularly interested in extending the play time with multiplayer, since I get that particular fix with MW2, so if you're like me, you'll rather wait to do a game swap with a slightly disappointed mate.


Pages:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • Next