Is it too soon for gamers to join the Taliban?
EA's newest Medal of Honor multiplayer video game will allow players to become members of the Taliban.
All is fair in love and war. And those who love war games enjoy their sheer fairness. Even if the Taliban wins.
Such a scenario will soon be possible with EA's newest and most contemporary Medal of Honor multiplayer game, which launches in October. In the words of EA's Medal of Honor Web site: "Players will step into the boots of these warriors and apply their unique skill sets to a new enemy in the most unforgiving and hostile battlefield conditions of present day Afghanistan."
There is no question that gamers need new enemies. They must keep honing and developing their skills, especially as so many of the younger ones might soon be recruited for wars that will become increasingly a case of pushing the right buttons at the right target at the perfect moment.
However, there will be some who will wonder whether wars that are currently being enacted, involving the loss of thousands of lives, make for somewhat tasteless subjects for those who are merely seated at home, fueling themselves with breezy bravado and pizza.
The game's developer, DICE, declared to PSM3 magazine that its aim is pure and not political. Producer Patrick Liu said: "We do stir up some feelings, although it's not about the war, it's about the soldiers."
Some might find these words more than a little political. This war is happening now. It is being escalated now. And soldiers are dying now.
In Liu's view, though, there should be nothing too shocking about this game. "We're not pushing or provoking too hard," he told PSM3.
One man's opinion is another man's provocation. And there will surely be some, especially those with loved ones fighting in Afghanistan, who might feel a little uncomfortable at what they might see as frivolous money-making from an incomprehensible tragedy.
Their feelings might not be assuaged by the words to AOL News of Amanda Taggart, EA's senior PR manager: "Most of us having been doing this since we were 7--if someone's the cop, someone's gotta be the robber, someone's gotta be the pirate and someone's gotta be the alien. In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone's gotta be the Taliban."
Still, there will be those who believe that any attention given to a war that seems to confuse many might not be such a terrible thing.