Monday, July 26, 2010

Medal of Honor Taking Chances

Did anyone read this on Destructoid? It's quite the piece about the new Medal of Honor having a section where you play as Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. Initially, I did a "no way" because adding something like that seemed so...ridiculous to a game. That's an instant-boycott moment.

Somehow I was able to get in on a demo party of the game that included a battle where you have to be a member of Al-Qaeda. It was interesting. I didn't play this time. Merely an observationalist. I'm not an FPS person and haven't been a fan of Medal of Honor, but I was curious what the fuss was all about.

It definitely provoked a reaction.

Some people pushed it out of their mind that they were playing as a terrorist and able to complete their missions with ease. Others were standing and watching with dumbfounded looks upon their faces. There are a few vets from Iraq and Afghanistan in the viewing room, whom immediately left the room once they saw the content. It's pretty realistic and not something someone with bad memories wants to relive again. Needless to say, they won't be getting the game. But they're the same way when it comes to any movies or television shows about the war. They won't watch it because it digs up the past. My father is the same way with anything deal with Vietnam. I get it. Which is why I'm probably more hyper-sensitive to it then most.

I'm torn on this issue. A part of me wouldn't want to play as an Al-Qaeda because of personal feelings regarding their faction, how they act, things they have done, etc. With a friend that has family that has lived under the thumb of the Taliban, it's hard to disassociate a game from reality.

On the other hand, my media scholar finds the concept intriguing. The idea of playing as a terrorist is going to push people's buttons. How are people going to react to it? Why is EA making this bold move? What are the social implications that are going to arise from this? My brain is twitching. It's a dissertation waiting to happen.

This won't be a game that I'll purchase, but one that I would probably put forth some effort into researching (a.k.a. borrow from a friend). I'm curious to see the outcome with the audience. For now, people around me are in a mixed review state. No one knows what to make of the game.

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