We’ve all played cops and robbers. (Actually, I’ve never played cops and robbers. I was partial to Snakes and Ladders. But I digress.) For those of you who have played cops and robbers, it’s established that for every kid who plays a cop, someone has to play the robber.
Not according to the U.S. military.
Medal of Honor, a videogame by Electronic Arts, has been banned from military bases and forty-nine Gamestop locations by the Army and Airforce Exchange Services because the role-playing war game allows the player to take on both the roles of the coalition forces… and the role of the Taliban.
The game is the most recent iteration of a series of war games including versions set in World War II, allowing players to act as either members of the Allied force or the Nazi regime. The most recent version set in Afghanistan, however, hit too close to home for many veteran families.
“I don’t see how shooting soldiers based on real Americans is entertainment while people are dying every day for this country,” said Karen Meredith, whose son died in Iraq six years ago. “How can they say it’s OK for someone to play the Taliban? You’ll have people sitting at home, drinking beer, shooting at American soldiers, maybe missing, then starting over. Well, Ken didn’t have a chance to start over.”
In response, EA Games spokeswoman, Amanda Taggart, said to the Sunday Times that video gamers routinely play both good guys and bad guys.
What do you think? Should the military have banned the game?