Sunday, October 3, 2010

You don't need video games, your brain's already rotten

While this should not be a political issue, the frenzied screams of America's "value voters" has done an unbelievably stupid thing in forcing Electronic Arts to modify their upcoming Medal of Honor video game. For those who haven't been following this fiasco, EA's new Medal of Honor takes place in Afghanistan, a significant departure from their typical subject matter: World War II. The controversy with this newest game erupted when morons like Jack Thompson decided to try and censor the game by attacking their inclusion of "Taliban" as one of the playable options in multi-player mode.

For the benefit of you readers out there who are not familiar with "first person shooter" games, they typically consist of a single-player mode with a story that the player moves through. This often has cut-scenes, bits of dialog and other entertaining moments to give the player's twitchy fingers a bit of a breather, as well as provide the ears a break from the constant sound of gunfire. What "shooters" also tend to include in there, is a multi-player mode in which gamers can play either against each other in the room or against opponents over the internet. Here there is no story, no cut-scenes, no scripts. There is only killing the other players and staying alive.

With this new found understanding of "shooter" games, I would now like to point out the absurd substance of the complaints. Jack Thompson and his idiot think-alikes were outraged that in that multi-player mode, along with being a US soldier, a soldier from another NATO country, and maybe even an Afghan Army soldier, EA had put in the option for players to play as a "Taliban" fighter in multi-player mode. It is a pretty well established standard in the "shooter" genre to use the same characters that are in the single-player mode for the multi-player with obvious savings in programming and art design.

Now, let's imagine that the option is removed from the game. The Taliban is no longer a playable option in multi-player but multi-player is still part of the game. What does that really mean for the game play? Now players are all US soldiers running around killing each other. Is that so much better Jack? Would you prefer that people in multi-player mode run through the maps shooting other American or NATO soldiers? And it is exactly this kind of thoughtless argument that these "values voters" or religious extremists put forward that show how utterly moronic their viewpoints are.

So now EA has yielded to the pressure of these half-wits and is doing a "find/replace" on the word Taliban in their multi-player mode and replacing it with "Opposing Force." Maybe if these nuts had focused a bit of this energy on preventing real life violence (invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq) then EA wouldn't have based their game on Afghanistan and the Taliban. Congratulations Jack Thompson, you're a dumbass.

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