By Jared Newman | 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.