Taliban Scrubbed From Medal of Honor Multiplayer

By  |  Friday, October 1, 2010 at 8:22 am

The cops and robbers gunplay in Medal of Honor’s multiplayer mode will no longer include the Taliban.

Instead, enemy players will be known as the “Opposing Force.” Taliban will still be part of the single-player campaign in Electronic Arts’ modern war shooter, which will be released on October 12.

Greg Goodrich, Medal of Honor’s executive producer, said Taliban were removed from the game’s multiplayer mode out respect to friends and family of fallen soldiers, some of whom showed concern. “This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team,” Goodrich wrote in a blog post. “This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about.”

There’s probably going to be a sentiment that Electronic Arts buckled under pressure, after the military decided to ban Medal of Honor from being sold on Army and Air Force bases. But I’ve met Goodrich and heard him speak about the game’s attempts to honor U.S. soldiers, and I think his sentiments are sincere. Besides, it’s not clear whether the change will affect the military ban anyway, and I doubt the sales on military bases would create a huge dent in sales.

Personally, I think this is the right call. In multiplayer, the teams don’t matter because all meaning and context is stripped away, so changing the names is a harmless move to anyone who’s not offended. Because the Taliban names remain in Medal of Honor’s single-player portion, so do any aspirations towards serious commentary about war.

Granted, players are going to view the non-American fighters in multiplayer as Taliban no matter what they’re called, but in the end the change was made out of respect to people whose friends and families are currently being killed in Afghanistan, and I just can’t get flustered about that.

1 Comment


1 Comments For This Post

  1. meh Says:

    What will we refer to the Taliban as in movies, documentaries, books, and conversation, then? After all, if we don't want to "offend" anyone (and by "anyone", I mean service member's moms – since service members themselves likely don't care all that much). Can we get a list of the things their mom's are going to get in a tizzy over so we can just follow it from now on? Like, maybe they're offended that an atheist like me is living in "their" god blessed Amerika — and we sure can't have that, right?

    The clear fact is that the game is on shelves in ten days, which means it went to printing a long time ago. Which means that they never planned to actually call them "Taliban" in the finished game *ever*. It was all a huge ploy to get attention to their game and they got it. They suckered you, me, all the gaming press, news outlets. Everyone. We all bought into it and had quasi-serious discussions (as serious as a discussion about actually censoring something because somebodies poor wittle feewings are going to get hurt can be). And they were playing us all the whole time.

    Well done.