Medal Of Honor’s Taliban Multiplayer

What if a real member of the Taleban plays? What then?!

Medal Of Honor, the forthcoming series restart from EA, was revealed in June by Eurogamer to allow players to play as the Taliban in multiplayer gaming. A tabloid sensation with young people being encouraged to join terrorist organisations? Perfectly normal online gaming that doesn’t represent real life? Or simply awkward taste?

“It’s a game.”

say developers DICE.

In Dan Whitehead’s strikingly heartfelt reaction to the multiplayer, he pointed out that this is a current conflict, with current victims.

“Watching virtual Coalition troops gunned down by insurgents in the ruins of Kabul, I felt more than a little weird, especially since a friend lost his brother in Afghanistan only a few weeks ago. This is a real war that is happening right now, real blood is being shed, and simulating that for fragfest fun while being rewarded for kill streaks… Well, there’s just something a bit icky about that. In single-player, there can be a story that adds context and meaning to the carnage. In multiplayer, it’s all just for fun.”

I had the same thought today when watching the Call Of Duty: Black Ops trailer. The word “KILLSTREAK” on screen struck me – a predominantly single-player gamer – as something I’d be horrified to see during a game’s SP campaign. Were I fighting angry aliens or rabid dinosaurs, then sure. But while I’m picking my way through insurgent teenagers, well, maybe I’m sentimental. So why isn’t it horrifying in multiplayer?

But it is multiplayer, and the rules definitely are different there. You’re not engaged in a narrative, and they’re unlikely to be attempting any notion of recreating the horrors of war. You’re in a respawning frag-fest of noise and homophobic slurs, where the colours of the uniform, and the colours of the skin, may as well be blue and red. Is it distasteful?

“I think it is a fair point.”

began producer Patrick Liu, not responding to Eurogamer, but rather to PSM3 magazine (reported by ConnectedConsoles), when they put the question to them.

“We do stir up some feelings, although it’s not about the war, it’s about the soldiers. We can’t get away from what the setting is and who the factions are, but in the end, it’s a game, so we’re not pushing or provoking too hard.”

It’s a tough response to interpret. Like Eurogamer, I’ve pulled the words “It’s a game” from the sentence to paste at the top not out of context, but perhaps out of nuance. But it’s odd to claim they cannot get away from the setting. They obviously can. There’s no reason why the multiplayer couldn’t feature coalition forces fighting genetically enhanced mutant vegetables. It would clearly be a rubbish alternative setting, but they could do it. It’s odder still to claim they’re not trying to push or provoke.

It’s important to note that DICE are only responsible for the multiplayer, the SP campaign handled by EALA. But it’s still a difficult claim to put in context, defending themselves by stating that it’s only a game, a game not trying to push or provoke, when the publicity for the game has been embellished with boasts of real-world accuracy via being “developed in collaboration with U.S. Special Operations soldiers.” In fact, if we look back to December 2009, the game’s announcement underlined the significance of the setting. Executive producer Greg Goodrich said,

“When we first set out to reinvent Medal of Honor, we wanted to stay true to its roots of authenticity and respect for the soldier but bring it into today’s war. The Tier 1 Operator is the most disciplined, deliberate and prepared warrior on the battlefield. He is a living, breathing, precision instrument of war. We are honored to have the rare opportunity to work closely with these men to create a game that shares their experience.”

The VP and General Manager of EALA, Sean Decker, continued in the same vein.

“EA has always been an advocate for telling the soldiers’ story. The new Medal of Honor follows that tradition. We felt it was important to tell the story of today’s war and today’s elite soldiers via today’s most relevant medium – videogames.”

Later Goodrich was quoted in a press release saying,

“Medal of Honor is an authentic look into today’s war. Inspired by real people and real events, the game puts players in the boots of today’s warrior – from the infantry ground pounder to the Tier 1 Operator. We are proud of this piece because it offers a glimpse into the game we’re creating, while also showing the mindset of these warriors.”

Which makes for an interesting debate, certainly. I don’t know what I think. I know that when I play a game I rarely consider the private lives and backgrounds of the targets at which I’m shooting. Often times they may as well be those mutant vegetables. When a game pushes me to care (the most striking example I can think of is the original Call Of Duty) then that can change, and the experience becomes painted by that. However, get into multiplayer and I’m shooting at XK1LL3R-73, not the Germans, or the Taleban. I can’t think of an MP game (although it’s not necessarily my widest pool of experience) where the significance of the opposing side’s avatar’s ethnicity has had any impact upon me. Would it be different in this case? It certainly was for Eurogamer’s Dan. I don’t know what I’d feel.

So how about you? Are you comfortable with playing as the Taleban, fighting coalition soldiers? Or perhaps you think this provides an opportunity to take a non-partisan perspective of the conflict? Or does it offend you? Let us know below.


  1. Demon Beaver says:

    Coming from a frequently terror-stricken country, when first playing CS in 2000, I never dared playing the terrorists. I was utterly appalled by the notion of shooting soldiers, too. After a few months, and getting to know the “community”, I got over it. Didn’t ever bother me since then.

    • Demon Beaver says:

      I notice I’m missing the point I was trying to make:

      We all commit atrocities over and over in video games. We play as hitmen, soldiers, and often completely insane mass murderers. We slaughter civilians and enemies alike, with often insane weapons or through cruelly abusing physics. Graphics get better and so does the depiction of death and suffering.
      Does it make any difference that these specific characters have labels which we identify with fighters in a current conflict?

  2. rocketman71 says:

    Hey, John, when you say “taliban multiplayer” do you mean the context or the taliban way they treat PC gamers by denying us LAN and proper dedicated servers?.

  3. Batolemaeus says:

    Sounds like a lot of hypocrisy on the one hand and a simple pr stunt to raise some publicity à la no russian on the other hand to me.
    Gunning down people in ww2/vietnam shooters is a-ok, but when it’s taliban gunning down people it’s bad?

    Shooters have long gone the route of 90’s EXTREME when it comes to both marketing and execution. Anything that gets some cheap publicity is jumped upon and I don’t see how this one is different. I’m more appalled by the choice to include Taliban as an obvious pr stunt than I would be if they were included in a game as a means to provoke thought or as a way to shed some light on the other side of the fence.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Other than the fact it’s dealing with current events, I see no reason why this is any worse/different than playing Germans/Soviets/Viet Cong.

      People are too sensitive nowadays.

  4. cjlr says:

    I’ve played as a Nazi. I’ve played as a Red Army man. I’ve played as a Confederate. I’ve played as a conquistador. I’ve played as an Imperial Japanese soldier. They’re all just ordinary guys who’ve been fed some bad data. This is different… how?

    Oh, and also this: coalition spec-ops have about ten thousand times the equipment, training, and support of the various afghani insurgents. This strikes me as leading, inevitably, to a multiplayer balance that is either extraordinarily lopsided or extraordinarily unrealistic.

    And this too: Six Days in Fallujah. Sure, maybe it would have been a mess, but they could have tried, damnit.

  5. DJ Phantoon says:


  6. The Dark One says:

    Counter-Strike might not have real-life, identifiable affiliations for the terrorists, but the setting can be just as contemporary.

    • DrGonzo says:

      It did used to have real life terrorists. You could play as the IRA. I can’t remember if any of the others were real though.

  7. Bassism says:

    To be honest, it strikes me as an odd choice for a setting for a game. While not everybody is going to find issue with the situation, it seems fairly obvious that there are a lot of people in the world for whom the war is a touchy subject.

    It would seem to me easier to set the game in some other war, or at least use a fictional faction as enemy fodder. But if they’re set on a game depicting today’s war, then that’s what it is. But to claim that the game isn’t a deliberate attempt to cash in on the emotions, be they positive, negative, enthousastic, or what, surrounding a current war in order to sell units is laughable.

    Whatever happened to the days of fighting futuristic pig cops and paying strippers to take off their clothes? When did gaming become such a serious pursuit that we need to fight real world terrorist groups using real weapons and technologies modeled through working with real world special forces? I realize that there are games like L4D and TF2 and such that avoid this, but as a person who doesn’t really play FPSes, it seems like every game I heard about is Bad Warfare Company of Duty 8 or somesuch, which all seem to be heading in this sort of direction.

    As regards Decker’s quote, “EA has always been an advocate for telling the soldiers’ story. The new Medal of Honor follows that tradition. We felt it was important to tell the story of today’s war and today’s elite soldiers via today’s most relevant medium – videogames.”

    Well…. I’m really not sure it’s a story that needs to be told in a medium that consists of fictional storytelling.

  8. Alexander Norris says:

    I’m not actually sure DICE had any choice in what teams/themes would be a part of the multiplayer, to be fair. The game was set in Afghanistan, EA made a single player mode where you fight Taliban, and consequently DICE were saddled with making a multiplayer mode where US troops fight Taliban troops.

    Not sure if that Patrick Liu guy whom the quote comes from was EALA or DICE, though.

  9. Aerozol says:

    In the end I’m more offended by the fact that it’s fine to play a game where you’re shooting lots of evil foreigners, but it’s considered bad taste to play that side… because they’re shooting your friends out in rl. Of course it’s fine to simulate shooting people you know nothing about.

    I’ve always wanted to play a game or mod where you play within a terrorist/ bad guy faction. Narrative is important though (none of that cheesy ‘we appreciate western values after all’ avatar patronizing shit though), just as some random option I can imagine this will turn into quite the troll fest online.

    • mlaskus says:

      You use inverted smileys, I despise you! :P

    • mlaskus says:

      Ah, wrong reply button, it was supposed to be one post lower.

    • Aerozol says:

      I guess ours is a love that can never be ):

    • mlaskus says:

      Look, let’s not rush things. A burning passion may yet join us in a love-hate relationship. Which will bring us joy and sorrow in equal measure, eventually pushing us towards drug abuse and sexual deviancies. This will inevitably lead to one of us becoming a brilliant, if misunderstood author whose works will get the acclaim they deserve long after our deaths. While the other will become a significant figure in a new ideological movement, which, much later, will transform the Western culture forever. Our relationship will of course make a great story, so someone is going to make a movie about it.

      And how does that sound? You would like to have a movie made about you, wouldn’t you?
      You smiley inverting jerk! ;)

    • Deuteronomy says:

      I guess the one positive thing about it all is that I get to shoot you in the digital head in the field of battle. Commie scum.

  10. mlaskus says:

    So are all those Talebans being shot in Afghanistan not real? Is that what they are implying? Well if it’s ok to shoot them, then why is it not ok to shoot Coalition troops?

    I would really like to see a game set during WWII in which you could play as a German drafted into Wermacht. Not SS or any other Nazi, simply a man caught up in this conflict, fighting like all the other people on all sides.

    I would also like to see the game show different aspects of war, not only triumphant charges, heroic defenses and British Rambo special ops. I don’t want games to be afraid of graphic violence or otherwise disturbing scenes, but I don’t want them to beat me over the head with them and shout how inappropriate they are.(I’m looking at you Modern Warfare 2)
    I want them to show how there were heroes and monsters on all sides. And for once show someone more than Americans, British, Russians, Germans and occasionally Japanese. Every country that got involved has stories they are proud of and those they are keen to forget. I would like for once for them to be objectively shown.

    Really good movie, WWII, eastern front from the German perspective link to

    Yes, I do realize my wishes are unrealistic…

    • Aerozol says:

      We’re opinion buddies (:

    • D says:

      You should try Red Orchestra.

    • mlaskus says:

      Red Orchestra is a multiplayer game, and while I do appreciate it’s realistic gameplay, I wrote about something completely different. The experience I ache for is singleplayer. I don’t really care about the game’s mechanics, as long as they are enjoyable and don’t get in my way too much. What I do want, is a rich story which will present all aspects of war, the ugly ones as well as the beautiful ones.

    • neofit says:

      “I would really like to see a game set during WWII in which you could play as a German drafted into Wermacht. Not SS or any other Nazi, simply a man caught up in this conflict, fighting like all the other people on all sides.”

      The closest thing I can think of is the “Red Hammer” expansion for “Operation Flashpoint 1985”, in which you are playing a Russian soldier facing a US “liberation” of one thing or another. But since BIS’ writers are only second to Infinity Ward in terms of retarded “Foxnewsness”, the moral issues you are facing are whether you kill some civilians right now by yourself or you let one of your guys do it.

  11. John Peat says:

    Is the option to shoot at soldiers for a few hours before stashing your weapons and calling a taxi to go home included (the rules of engagement forbid attacking unarmed people y’see)????

    Is Ross Kemp Included?

    These are things we need to know…

    • John Peat says:

      p.s. it’s boring but Taliban (spell it how you like as it’s not an English word) is a plural – a single fighter would be a Talib (again spell it how you like)…

    • Kandon Arc says:

      Ross Kemp is the 25 killstreak reward. He ends the match instantly.

    • Carolina says:

      @ Devan

      I’m glad that you’ve clarified your views, since your explanation was much easier to digest than your previous post. I believe that this particular statement was the controversial part:

      When I play BF1942 I often side with the Japanese in the pacific battles as I think that they, while probably not “in the right”, were closer to it than the US was.

      I’m sorry if that wasn’t what you meant, but it clearly reads as if you thought that the Imperial Japanese Army was the lesser evil. Which in this case, I highly doubt they were.

    • Carolina says:

      #@$! you, Reply System!

  12. Ybfelix says:

    How many decade do you think we before get a mainstream WWII fps with Germany campaign?

  13. ed says:

    Surely when you play an American soldier killing Afghanis on their home soil you’re just a different kind of terrorist.

    Fuck war.

    • Devan says:

      True enough. When I play BF1942 I often side with the Japanese in the pacific battles as I think that they, while probably not “in the right”, were closer to it than the US was.
      Of course, choosing sides in a video game doesn’t make a lick of difference in the real world, but at least it’s a form of alternative to the “We’re the best; let’s put em in their place” mentality in the main plot of these shooters.

    • cjlr says:

      “I often side with the Japanese in the pacific battles as I think that they, while probably not “in the right”, were closer to it than the US was.”

      Whoa there, buddy. I’m all for examining both sides, but until someone finds evidence of WWII-era America having committed repeated instances of abducting and raping thousands of women, abusing and killing pows, unrestrained testing of biological warfare on civilians, and actively encouraging looting, rape, and murder among conquered populations, I don’t that sentence has much to do with any reality I’m party to.

    • DrGonzo says:

      You forgot forced suicide. Though he could have meant the indivifuals not the government. As in the average Japanese soldier was fighting to defend his home. Letters from Iwo Jima is worth watching.

    • krazmych says:

      @DrGonzo (the first part)

      I agree, but then the game has to be set up in such a way as to communicate that its just an average Japanese guy who just wants to defend his home, regardless of your government’s actions. That could be a VERY good story about the tragedy of war, regardless of which side you’re on (All Quiet on the Western Front is a great example of that).

      @ Devan
      But if you’re playing as the Japanese who murdered, raped, pillaged, executed prisoners and did god-knows what and the game is showing you that… well, brother, just don’t hang around with me. There is no way I would understand that.

    • mlaskus says:

      Well, Americans, just as all the other nations on the winning side of the war committed countless atrocities on conquered German population in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
      Reopening the concentration camps and filling them with PoWs and random civilians was a common practice amongst the winners. Those were just as inhuman as under the Nazis.
      Purposeful starving of civilian population on occupied territories.
      And a lot more, most of the stuff you mentioned.

      You don’t hear about it and it is rarely mentioned in history books but it is true. Almost every nation involved in WWII committed such atrocities. And no, they cannot be justified by the fact that Germans started it. War crime is a war crime, no matter who did it and how he justifies it.

      Before anyone asks. No, I’m not German, I just despise rewriting history to make yourself look good. And everyone did that. Losers were never given a chance to forget what their armies did, winers made sure of it.

    • krazmych says:

      Well, I would never ever EVER want to play as those Americans/British/i don’t care what, who murdered, raped, etc.

    • mlaskus says:

      Neither would I, this post was purely about history, not gaming.

    • Tetragrammaton says:

      True enough, we in the UK like to talk about the horrors of the blitz and V2 rockets,The fact is it pails in comparison to allied bombing over German cities. I mean, christ, look what we did to Dresden.

      link to

    • mlaskus says:

      True, it is nice to see someone mentioning this.

      Also, it reminds me about a book by Kurt Vonnegut, “Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death”. An incredible story involving black humour, the destruction of Dresden, time travel and aliens. Read it before you judge it by my immature description, you won’t regret it.

    • oceanclub says:

      “Those were just as inhuman as under the Nazis.”

      What – the Allies murdered millions in concentration camps after the war? I’m sure you’ll have some peer-reviewed history books as references to back this up (and not just links to Youtube videos).


    • Carolina says:

      It’s easy to generalize all these atrocities under the umbrella of “War Crimes”, and indeed they are, but we’re talking about the Imperial Japanese Army here; I find difficult to put the activities of, let’s say, Unit 731 in the same bag as the bombing of Dresden, and not only because of the —much, much higher— number of casualties of the former, but the sheer depravity of its nature.

      That said, the “Good Guys” gave immunity to Unit 731 leaders in exchange of their germ warfare data based on human experimentation. So, if you want to be one of the good guys in a game, maybe you should skip anything based on real wars.

      As usual, they’re all rotten in the end.

    • mlaskus says:

      If we aren’t talking about Soviets then no, they didn’t murder millions. The scale was a lot smaller than what the Nazis did, but still, many tens of thousands were killed at the end of and after the war in ruthless acts of vengeance.
      By “as inhuman” I meant the conditions in which those people were held, not the scale.

      I lack any proper source in English to quote, but it is not hard to find such literature. The fallout of the war is well documented by historians, it is a shame it is mostly ignored in public debate and education.

      It was not my intention to generalize, but I obviously did. I’m sorry.

      “As usual, they’re all rotten in the end.”
      That’s the thing I was trying to tell here. Not weight one war crime against the other. Just show that all sides got their hands dirty, most people seem to forget that.

    • Carolina says:

      @ mlaskus

      It’s a fair point, one which I don’t disagree with. I just wanted to point out that, despite everyone getting their hands dirty, sometimes you can analyze a situation and see at least the lesser of two evils.

      In this particular case, I find Devan’s posture quite misinformed, for example. But you know what they say about Internet arguments anyway.

    • mlaskus says:

      Ah, XKCD the second best thing on the internet, right after RPS of course. ;)

      I’m actually surprised no one got compared to Hitler in some of the more emotional discussions here.

    • Carolina says:

      In order to mantain Godwin’s morale high, I’m calling you Hitler now, just in case.

    • krazmych says:

      Actually, I did get called a Nazi below in the comments.

      Even though I was born in Poland, am Polish, and am farthest away from a Nazi as possible.

      Meh, idc. I much rather like being called an “internet creature.” :)

    • Devan says:

      @cjlr, krazmych, Carolina
      I think there’s been a gross misunderstanding, and my follow-up posts don’t seem to be making it through. My post had absolutely nothing to do with war crimes, and I am perturbed that you seemed to think so. I think that such misinformed internet arguments are often due to incorrect assumptions like that.

      Allow me to clarify:
      – War-themed FPS games usually have a plot that can be generalized as an action-movie ideal of defending freedom and taking the fight to the bad guys who are trying to destroy it.
      – In real war, the “other side” probably has similar motivations.
      – In real war, the victor gets to write the history books, ensuring that the general population believes the war was just and needed to happen.
      – Back to video games, the merits and faults of each faction are not objectively examined (they’re for fun after all). However, some of them allow you play any faction, perhaps even in a campaign mode where you can create alternate histories of past wars.
      – I like it when non-fictional and historical games allow you to play as the other side because for some people out there, they are the good guys (or at least the not-as-bad guys).
      – As DrGonzo said, it allows you to walk in the shoes of a grunt on both sides, and share whatever motivations they have for being there.

      An interesting thought, though, is that the average soldier’s personal reasons for being there are probably not the same as the truest reasons his country decided to go to war in the first place.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      clr: think this already been covered, but the firebombing of Dresden, Tokyo, Sarejavo etc were acts of bastardry of the highest order.

  14. geldonyetich says:

    Overheard at the DICE offices, “say, that scene in the last Call Of Duty where you gun down innocents in an airport sure got us a lot of media attention. How are we going to top that? Hmm… well, I suppose we could have actual Taliban racking up kill streaks in multi-player, and if anyone complains, we could be like, ‘It’s only a game, stupid.'”

  15. pipman300 says:

    if a player “accidentally” kills a few civilians can they claim they were taliban after the fact? i’m interested in realism you see

    • bleeters says:

      @ pipman300

      If that’s the case, the option to execute unarmed aid workers should also be present, yes?

    • pipman300 says:

      as long as the server doesn’t have wikileaks enabled everything will be fine.

    • pipman300 says:

      or else your side gets the collateral murder debuff and stop gaining points for awhile.

    • krazmych says:

      I don’t think anyone is advocating we play as Americans who kill civilians. Not that there weren’t, and those soldiers deserve to get court martialed and get the full brunt of military justice. And many times, the military did silence things to avoid bad rep. Which is very very very bad. The people involved deserve to go to hell for that. Worse than the Taliban I would argue. But if you’re trying to insinuate that the regular run-of-the-mill American soldier does that… then wow. Boy have you got a lot of reading to do. And I don’t mean the mainstream media. I mean, the nitty-gritty independent stuff.

      You forgot to include the option to kill little boys who have American dollars in their posession. Or raping/mudering girls that want to go to school.

    • pipman300 says:

      if it wasn’t for the american dollar thing i’d think you were talking shit about the good ole us of a.

      link to

    • pipman300 says:

      btw hell doesn’t exist and us soldiers hardly ever get punished for their war crimes because america keeps a tight lid on that stuff

    • neofit says:

      “if a player “accidentally” kills a few civilians can they claim they were taliban after the fact? i’m interested in realism you see”
      Works for the Blackwater mercenaries. And Dice and EA *are* committed to realism, as evidenced by the main game art: that ZZ Top warrior we are seeing everywhere is definitely not in any kind of national army.

    • Fumarole says:

      Beards among uniformed soldiers in the West are not unheard of, especially with Special Forces.

      link to

  16. Adam says:

    I like that games push the limits. Bioshock 1 & 2 come to mind, when you are left with the choice of harvesting the little sisters or freeing them. Games that make you think and challenge your ideals is a game deserving of praise I belive. As previously mentioned, multiplayer is mindless fun and it really makes no difference what class of soldier you choose. If there was a chapter or two of single player where you are ambushing, capturing and tortuing US, Brittian, Canidian, ect.. soldiers, that would be a different beast all together.

    Games are meant to be entertainment, if it’s not enjoyable, then move on to the next one : )

    • DrGonzo says:

      They do that kind of thing in films. So as long as it’s done well I think that could be fine.

      Also, I don’t think games always have to be enjoyable. Just like films they can be quite unpleasant to get a point across.

    • krazmych says:

      The difference between Bioshock 1 and 2 and Medal of Honor is that you have the choice to harvest sisters or not. Its your choice, and you get to play how you want to.

      As long as they provide a choice whether to play the Taliban or not. I’ve got no problem with that. People have a right to play how they want to.

  17. Adventurous Putty says:

    Two words: No Russian.

  18. Radiant says:

    Publisher creates controversy to bury identikit rival’s multiplayer news.

  19. Gosh says:

    we have played as american marines invading afghanistan and iraq so many times that you really can’t complain. i, being swedish, isn’t completely convinced america is the good guys and i will gladly shoot americans if i get the chance. not that i care whom i play as or whom i’m shooting at as long as i have an ak47 in my hands.

    • krazmych says:

      Well, Gosh, then you can play games where Americans are the bad guys (Six Days in Fallujah) and I don’t have to. Simple as that. I believe in the freedom of the marketplace above all, as long as there is demand, and a publisher willing to take a risk to try to get that demand.

    • pipman300 says:

      settings for games where america could be the bad guys: vietnam war, any war that ends with them exterminating or forcing native americans off their land. what else can you think of rps?

    • krazmych says:

      Vietnam, no from the mission (i mean, think if we had a South Vietnam to accompany South Korea), but yes, to the many thousands of massacres Americans did in Vietnam. Very ugly war.

      And I agree with you about the native american thing 100%. Americans completely massacred them. Wasn’t even a fair fight.

      Here, let me give you some more. What about when America fought in the Philipines? Thousands upon thousands died there in the fighting.

      Or what about Hawaii? Using American business to topple a queen and to essentially imprison the hawaiian people?

      Or, let’s see… what about the Spanish-American War? Completely unjustified, and started by the Americans.

      Yeah, come on RPS, what else do you think I missed?

      (I’m being serious here, btw, nowhere did I say America was an angel 110% of the time. Nowhere.)

    • Archonsod says:

      The US war of Independence. Terrorism against their own people, “Public Safety Committees” which seemed to have confused themselves with the Spanish Inquisition and of course conscription at gunpoint into an army whose commanders made the WWII Russian approach to sacrificial troops look like the height of strategic brilliance.

      The real problem isn’t so much these things get glossed over, but that the publishers are stupid enough to try and counter-argue against the inevitable moral outcry. If an artist exhibits photographs of Auschwitz victims it’s hailed as “controversial”, “challenging” and a hundred and one similar descriptions by people afraid to criticise in case they Don’t Get It. Try the same thing in gaming and you just get demonised. It would be nice to see a publisher with the balls to actually turn around and inquire why they should give a damn about the opinion of the vocal minority for once.

    • Xercies says:

      You know I want a game where you play as a concentration camp guard, I want a game where you play on the other side of the wars for once, I want a game where you are a terroist trying to blow something up. i want all these games…I think when we can have that we have truly become an artform worth talking about…because games are a great medium to be put in the shoes of soemone.

    • Gosh says:

      havent seen a good three or four part war game in ages. i remember perfect dark had four teams against eachother and that was damn fun. but as long as you cant justify more than two parts realistically no one wants to do it.

      id love to see an allout war in middle-east kinda game. or every country for themself.

    • pipman300 says:

      there was that one red faction game where you played a terrorist and blew up edf buildings for points and unlockables.

    • Gosh says:

      in operation arrowhead (the new arma 2 game) i remember playing a custom map called ambush or something were you played as the takistan geurilla trying to blow up an us convoy. and there were these details like killing the infidels and if you failed it said something like all your soldiers have met allah.

      that map were more fun than any modern combat game ive played to this day.

  20. krazmych says:

    I for one have a huge problem as playing as the Taliban. Just like I have a problem with the scene in MW2 where you gun down civilians in the airport. That was done very distastefully. Why couldn’t they have gone the route of MW, where no matter which team you’re on, you always see yourself as the soldier and not the terrorist?

    Maybe I’m just a crazy old American, but I have no intention of playing as the Taliban within any game. Now, killing endless waves of Taliban after Taliban, hell no, I’ve got no problem with that. Maybe its just a little problem I have with them crashing their planes into the Twin Towers and killing all those civilians and all. We didn’t choose the war, it was thrust on us. Maybe I’m just crazy like that, but then I’d much prefer being crazy than sane in this case.

    I swear, if they put any kind of alternate view of the war from the point of the Taliban, I’m shutting the game off. Unless its some guy who is trying to get away from the Taliban. ESPECIALLY if they try to portray the Taliban as “misunderstood.”

    And its not that I’ve not tried to understand the Taliban. Oh no, trust me, I’ve done massive amounts of research to try to understand why people would fly planes into towers with the intention of killing thousands. The only research I’ve come upon is seeing the Taliban as dictators no better than Stalin, Hitler, or anyone else, who brutally torture and kill kids who have an American dollar on them.

    And yes, historical distance does add a little in terms of making conflicts presentable in games. But then again, games have attempted to show the world trade center falling to try to get “artistic”.

    • pipman300 says:

      lol yeah you were forced to invade the country the wtc bombers didn’t come from instead of invading the one they did (Saudi Arabia)

    • krazmych says:

      Right because there was absolutely NO evidence of Afghanistan harboring Al Quaia. Uh-huh.

    • krazmych says:

      *Al Quaeda

    • mlaskus says:


      Also, this paragraph makes absolutely zero sense:

      “And its not that I’ve not tried to understand the Taliban. Oh no, trust me, I’ve done massive amounts of research to try to understand why people would fly planes into towers with the intention of killing thousands. The only research I’ve come upon is seeing the Taliban as dictators no better than Stalin, Hitler, or anyone else, who brutally torture and kill kids who have an American dollar on them.”

    • krazmych says:

      Ummm… okay…

      I am a hypocrite for wanting to kill the Taliban who are murdering, raping, and enslaving an entire country and not wanting to kill those Americans who want to get rid of the Taliban who are doing that. Notice I don’t want to play as the Americans who murder innocent civilians.

      Yep, that sure spells hypocrisy to me. But what do I know.

      And as for the paragraph, well, the first sentence is sarcasm, the second sentence is self-explanatory and slightly sarcastic, and the third sentence basically says: Stalin = Hitler = Taliban.

      I don’t see whats not to get.

    • DrGonzo says:

      In that case I want to kill Americans for all the slaughters they commit constantly. You should learn to see the situation from all sides. And again, you label them Al-Queda when that just means terrorists who hate the west. They aren’t all linked together, they simply share the same views.

    • mlaskus says:

      Most of the people Coalition forces are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq are not Talibans who raped, pillaged and did a lot of other nasty things, but young boys who were given an AK47 and told that these terrible people who hate them, their way of life, their culture and their God have come to enslave them. Or some other propagandistic bullshit to make them hate you. Just as you are fed other propagandistic bullshit to hate them. And guess what? It works.

      A group of fanatics committed a terrible crime in America. So America destabilized a whole region, exporting democracy and “American way of life” while importing oil.
      Great, now when your politicians start to realize how stupid that was, you want to pull out of there as fast as you can. Leaving a fragile region destabilized and extremely antagonized against the West and think this situation is not going to repeat itself?

      Also, about civilian casualties. About a year ago I read a report by Amnesty International on civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq. A vast majority of civilians who got killed, died in engagements of American forces. And most of the time, soldiers who did this were never court martialed.
      On the other hand, other Coalition forces have a LOT lower civilian casualty rates and in most cases soldiers responsible are being court martialed.
      The report dealt with relative numbers, not absolutes, so size of the contingents was taken into account.

    • Rich says:

      “On the other hand, other Coalition forces have a LOT lower civilian casualty rates and in most cases soldiers responsible are being court martialed.
      The report dealt with relative numbers, not absolutes, so size of the contingents was taken into account.”

      I get the impression that a lot of that stems from the attitudes of the different nation’s armies. The UK and other EU armies are quite experienced at police keeping work (imperial history not withstanding), and understand how to work amongst civilians. One example being, once the actual invasion is over, taking off armour and helmets, not wearing sunglasses and switching to their berets. The US attitude seems to be all about making sure none of their guys get a scratch, even if that means shooting anything that moves rather than take any risks. There’s also a few examples of US marines getting hit by RSBs, going nuts, and killing the best part of a village of people who had bugger all to do with it.

      Oh yeah, and there was that British convoy the US blew to pieces and fought to cover up. That one’s not getting forgotten in a hurry thanks.

    • Rich says:

      Oh and there’s that crazy notion that Osama bin Laden is the head of one massive organisation, whom all orders go through, and that killing him will somehow bring peace to the world. Unfortunately it doesn’t work like that when you have a collection of loosely affiliated groups, linked only by their mutual hatred and radicalised version of Islam.

      This isn’t Star Wars. Just killing the emperor isn’t going to do it.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Al Qaida != Taliban

      (All the 11th September bombers are already dead – a strategic masterstroke by whoever planned that)

  21. Freud says:

    This could be the The Green Beret of gaming. If we are lucky.

  22. negativedge says:

    War is a joke, and our response to modern wars as a society is particularly joke worthy. This is right in line, and perhaps even ought to be labeled as conservative. Lord knows most gamers will learn more about the Taliban from EA than from CNN anyway. We live in a Baudrillardian fever dream. War is marketed as a game, and the games are marketed as the real thing. We no longer have any concrete reference points, or any people looking for them. The only people with a decent grasp of the zeitgeist are marketers, and that’s largely because they’re manufacturing it. To complain about this game with any real verve is to open a can of worms large enough to trivialize the original point.

    There could, however, be something to be said from a strictly gaming viewpoint. The KILLSTREAK phenomenon in these games (which as I’m sure you know goes back much further than the whole “modern warfare” trend) is purely ludic, deriving entirely from the high score ideals of the 70’s and the breadcrumb meta-progress for progress’ sake design philosophy of the last five years. When these ludic decisions are folded into bigger questions–generally with no intention, as the designers of shoot-man games are obviously as far removed from stabbing arabs in the chest as you and I–the questions surrounding the psychological effects of video game design (which tickles the exact same parts of your brain as marketers do, it must be said) become more immediately pronounced. Lets not mince words here–the single minded focus on more/faster/better in sloppy game design produces an entirely neurotic response in gamers. People complain about the omnipresent, all consuming antagonistic nerdrage culture of popular multiplayer video games (and the internet hovels gamers tend to inhabit, at that): here is it’s root. It is time to abandon the simplistic straw man of “video games don’t directly foster violent behavior” and look just a little more deeply at how video games are designed to effect us on a psychological level.

    • Deuteronomy says:

      I wonder if there was someone such as you, tipping poison into susceptible ears, on Tuesday, 29 May 1453

    • negativedge says:


  23. Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

    You should probably keep doing “massive amounts of research” until you reach the point where you stop confusing The Taliban with al-Qeada.

    • Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

      That reply was for krazmych, obv.

    • krazmych says:

      Ummm… I am not. And I never did.

      I don’t know where you got that from. I am not too stupid to know that Al Quaeda flew planes into the twin towers and the Taliban were in Afghanistan and were just harboring (very heavily) the Al Quaedese.

    • krazmych says:

      Oops, my mistake, I see where you got that from. I was writing too fast to really catch that.

      See, I often don’t care too precisely to label my terrorist groups like that, as they are all believing in the same crazy BS, and for me, harboring the terrorists is almost like you’re joining the terror group. Just unofficially. You only need common sense for that.

      I do apologize though for that.

      But you know, if you did massive amounts of research, you would know that there were MANY links between the two. A helluva lot.

    • DrGonzo says:

      al-Queda should really just read terrorist. We like to make it sound as though they are an evil organisation run by one man but they aren’t.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      *ahem* NORAID *ahem*

      link to

  24. Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

    Given the radically different aims of both groups and the circumstances under which they were formed that seems unlikely, but welp

    Anyway, I’d love to think that this game will place the Afghanistan war in some kind of context with the nation’s cultural past – occupation by the British in 1919-1920, failed US attempts at dam-building and creation of a tourist industry in the 70s, Soviet invasion of the 1980s etc etc – but my guess is you’ll play a bald soldier shooting dudes who occasionally gets a phone call from his girlfriend or whatever.

    … war is hell man *wipes away tear, shoots nearby Afghan child*

    • krazmych says:

      Yep radically different. Taliban aim to impose extremist law on Afghanistan, Al Qaeda serve to impose and support groups that impose extremist law around the world. I cannot find an resemblence there. None whatsoever.

      I agree, however, circumstances where different in group formation.

      Seems unlikely?

      You really should research the two groups (I mean, even looks them up individually on Wikipedia if you don’t have time to do proper research, I mean, Osama Bin Laden is very clearly in the Taliban section and the Taliban are very clearly in the Al Qaeda section).

      I’ll give you an example of one link to each between the two if you’re too lazy to do proper research:

      1) Osama Bin Laden (leader of Al Qaeda, in case you don’t know) trained many soldiers who fought under the Taliban against the Soviets when they invaded.
      2) The Talibanese government in Afghanistan very clearly and loudly harbored Al Qaeda in Afghanistan before and after 9/11, during which time they provided training facilities for the terrorist group.

      SUCH a hard connection to find.

    • DrGonzo says:

      Jesus Christ. You should read the wiki better. Osama Bin Laden isn’t the leader of Al-Queda. They don’t work like that. It’s not good and evil.

    • DrGonzo says:

      This guy is making me so angry I can’t write properly anymore. I need to stop caring what morons on the internet think.

    • Adam Curtis' Freaky Jumpcuts says:

      I have no idea where this reply will turn up, but I put it out there anyway! This is to the best of my knowledge, I’m not exactly a scholar on the massively complicated history of Western involvement in Afghanistan.


      krazmych, I think you’re now confusing the mujahedin (themselves not exactly a single, united group) with the Taliban. bin Laden threw in his lot with the mujahedin against the Soviet Union and (at some point, maybe during the war, formed a group called al-Qaeda.) The Taliban emerged later, as a reactionary force AGAINST various Islamist groups that had attempted to fuse religion with politics, culture and so on.

      Their aim, as far as I understand it, is a retreat from politics (which they had watched tear apart the mujahedin groups after victory against the Soviet Union) to some sort of weird, nostalgic version of Islam that they think is the religious ‘ideal.’

      As for how any of this leads to some nutters flying planes into the world trade center – if you solve that, then you solve a lot of problems. Without the need for repeating the mistakes of history with foreign military misadventures.

      Uh, but none of this has much to do with what will undoubtedly be a shit game.

    • krazmych says:

      No, you’re right DrGonzo, Bin Laden is NOT the leader of Al Qaeda…

      (from the wikipedia article on Bin Laden):

      “Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden (with numerous variations; Arabic: أسامة بن محمد بن عوض بن لادن‎, Usāmah bin Muḥammad bin ‘Awaḍ bin Lādin; born March 10, 1957) is a member of the prominent Saudi bin Laden family and the founding leader of the terrorist Islamist organization al-Qaeda…”

      Nope. Absolutely not the leader…

      (from wikipedia article on al Qaeda):

      “Characteristic techniques include suicide attacks and simultaneous bombings of different targets.[9] Activities ascribed to it may involve members of the movement, who have taken a pledge of loyalty to Osama bin Laden, or the much more numerous “al-Qaeda-linked” individuals who have undergone training in one of its camps in Afghanistan, Iraq or Sudan, but not taken any pledge.”

      Hell no. No way. I don’t know where I got that info from.

      No wonder I made you so angry. I mean… I so clearly am bulling the Osama Bin Laden is the leader BS right out of thin air. Now, I never did say he ran the organization single-handedly. Ever.

      I am absolutely not confusing the mujahedin with the Taliban. The taliban were only a component of the mujahedin. Other mujahedin were freedom fighters fighting for a legitimately free Afghanistan, who actually wanted the U.S. to come into America and help them later on. Read below for my comment about the book Horse Soldiers. It says that there too.

      Unfortunatelly, I don’t agree with your “retreat-from-politics” thing. The Taliban very much incorporated religion (or their extreme views of it) into Afghani government and politics, if not in theory, at least in practice.

    • DrGonzo says:

      My argument was not that he wasn’t the leader of Al-Qaeda but that Al-Qaeda doesn’t exist.

    • pipman300 says:

      al-qaeda is cobra command basically

    • DrGonzo says:

      Also, you didn’t bother to include the bit I mentioned from the wiki. Anyway, enough arguing with Nazi trolls.

    • krazmych says:

      Lol, I didn’t bother to include any bits from wikipedia? Wow…

      Or did you not bother to include your bit from wikipedia… which is true… hmmm… I dunno, I guess the posts above don’t lie though. :)

    • pipman300 says:

      why would he read wikipedia it’s liberal bias he probably only reads metapedia.

    • krazmych says:

      Lol, you, obviously, don’t read at all pipman.

      I only directly quoted wikipedia, what, 2 times? and linked to her, what, 3-4 times?

      But i digress…

    • Grape Flavor says:

      when you’re looking like a fool.. and your back’s against the wall… just call the other guy a “Nazi troll” and storm off. classic.

      lol. and al-qaeda doesn’t exist? lol. they might have something to say about that.

      wow. internet. you amaze me.

  25. Vinraith says:

    Making games about currently ongoing wars is, to put it mildly, utterly tasteless and a generally bad idea. A bit of historical distance is in order before we start fictionalizing these things, whether the Taliban are playable or not. I suppose i simply can’t fathom what’s “fun” about the war in Afghanistan.

    Nevertheless I’m sure it’ll sell millions of copies.

    • DrGonzo says:

      I really think a game that shows truly how horrific war is and doesn’t glorify it like these would be a really good thing. The interactivity would have much more of an impact than a film ever could.

    • Vinraith says:

      If it could be done right it might, indeed, have some real impact. Unfortunately, I doubt anyone would really play it.

    • Atalanta says:

      @Vinraith – I agree.

      Honestly, most non-RTS games modelled after real wars make me kind of uncomfortable. I’m not crazy about reducing actual people and complicated situations into simplistic caricatures.

  26. pipman300 says:

    afghanistan wasn’t that bad of a place to live until america helped terrorists drive out the soviets and turned the place into the hole it is today.

    • pipman300 says:

      it’s hilarious when you watch that one rambo movie where he goes to afghanistan and fights soviets alongside the terrorists freedom fighters

    • krazmych says:

      Maybe you should read Horse Soldiers.

      link to

      Maybe that would give you some information about how the Taliban were before the Americans went in. I won’t try to spoil the book for you, but basically, before the Americans went in… Afghanistan was hell. But then again, maybe girls not being able to go to school or having simple freedom to run businesses or even to listen to music (any music for that. if you listened to music, that would be subject to getting beat up by the taliban, or worse) doesn’t sound that bad of a situation for you. To each their own I guess.

      And no, that book is not government propaganda, its written by an independent journalist who at the end expresses very big problems with the war in iraq later.

      And if you would know anything about afghanistan, is that there were those who fought for freedom, and those who fought against it (ie taliban). Yes, even before America went in.

    • Vinraith says:


      In fairness it was a pretty bad place when the Soviets were occupying it, too.

      The U.S. did what it always does when they helped drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan: we won the war and then lost the peace. We’re great at going in and smashing places, not so great at building them back up afterward. If we had followed through on our promises in Afghanistan after the Soviets were driven out, helped them build schools and roads, aided them in getting back on their feet, there would have been no power void for the likes of the Taliban to fill in the first place, and no desperate masses for them to peddle their murderous fundamentalist dogma to. We screwed up, and then we got to fight there all over again because of it. And again, we’ve done a marvelous job of smashing the place up, and again we’re going to leave without fixing it and perpetuate the same cycle.

    • krazmych says:

      I agree with you that we lost the peace. We also lost the peace in Iraq. The problem why that ocurred was becase of political bullcrap, which, i dont care if it comes from reps or dems, its still bullcrap. Rumsfeld shoulda been out of a job a long time before he was replaced.

    • Vinraith says:


      Yeah, that’s a cross-party failing. Neither party thinks they can sell it to the American people. Nationally, we aren’t much fond of the idea of foreign aid, even when it clearly serves our own best interests in the long run.

    • FunkyBadger says:

      Interestingly, the Soviets, without the distraction of 5-year electoral cycles had a much better chance of “civilisinig” Afghanistan, they, at least, were in it for the long term.

  27. pipman300 says:

    someone should make a game set in the near future where the american tea partiers have become a full fledged terrorist group and you have to fight against them. redneck rampage would finally get the sequel is needs.

    • krazmych says:


      thats all i’ve got to say to that. cuz that is EXACTLY what the tea party platform advocates. This is too funny. Talk about not doing one’s research.

      I think a game centered around bill ayers bombing the pentagon would be much more realistic. Oh wait… but that actually happened.

      I love how you changed subjects btw. Completely gone from Afghanistan to… tea party? Wow… just wow.

    • pipman300 says:

      lol you think i was talking to you you’re obsessed lol.

      go away trole.

    • pipman300 says:

      do you think obama is a terrorist muslim who was bff with bill ayers? lol you probably do

    • pipman300 says:

      the tea party is a group of racist hicks who bring automatic weapons to town hall meetings to intimidate people. they have wet dreams about race wars.

    • pipman300 says:

      what are your opinions on obama and the upcoming race war khaz since you forced me to talk to you (it’s really unpleasant to treat you like an intelligent human being for once instead of some weird internet creature)

    • DrGonzo says:

      I read somewhere that terrorism in the US from Americans is far worse than from outside. But they don’t like to report that their own people are mental and like blowing each other up.

    • krazmych says:

      Lol. Right, you posting on a public internet forum and me responding is SUCH an outrage. I mean, WHO does that???!!! Its not like I’ve been talking in this same comment section with other people as well.

      Uh-uh. No way. No one does that on this thing we call the internet. Im such a loner. :(

      Anyway, yes, I am a tea partier, cuz I believe in low taxes, smaller fed government, stronger state rights, low spending, and stronger personal responsibility. Call me crazy, but that is exactly what the American gov was founded on.

      Lol. No i don’t think Obama is a Muslim terrorist. No tea partier I know think that, and I know a lot of them around my region. That is completely crazy, I agree with you. I mean, the guy isn’t even Muslim.

      But yes, he was BFF with Bill Ayers. I mean, the guy only started his political career in Ayer’s house, with ayer’s help. That was before this whole thing got national though.

      I don’t like Obama because of his policies. I couldn’t care less that he is black. In fact, I do think the fact that a black president was elected is a historical moment, and a great move forward in american race relations. I would dislike him just the same if he was white, yellow, red, brown, tan, pinkish, had pointy ears, smelled funny, was a terrible public speaker, had a disability, etc ( i think u get my point)

      lol to the last sentence about being an unpleasant internet creature. I’ve always liked Gollum. Do you know that people get better sleep when they laugh? Thanks for giving me a guaranteed good-night sleep buddy. ;)

      @ DrGonzo
      Yes, terrorism in America is much worse than in other parts of the world. People get blown up during elections by car bombs and get gunned-down on the street everyday. Its quite tragic. I mean, there are many more hundreds of people killed by americans blowing each other up, than say, the two thousand who were killed in 9/11 by al qaeda.

      Unless of course, you’re counting car crashes, or drunk driving as terrorism.

    • pipman300 says:

      lol you think obama is best friends with bill ayers. i’m sorry for treating you like a human being when you’re really just a trash receptacle for right-wing propaganda

    • pipman300 says:

      “lol to the last sentence about being an unpleasant internet creature. I’ve always liked Gollum. Do you know that people get better sleep when they laugh? Thanks for giving me a guaranteed good-night sleep buddy. ;)”

      thanks now i feel gross all over. maybe if we’re lucky you won’t wake up this time.

    • pipman300 says:

      i hope you’re just a troll.

    • krazmych says:

      Resort is had to ridicule only when reason is against us.
      Thomas Jefferson

      And I love how you make no comment on every case where you did not predict my stance (your alegations of race-hatred, of me thinking obama was a muslim terrorist, etc.).

      “thanks now i feel gross all over. maybe if we’re lucky you won’t wake up this time.”

      Your welcome. :)
      Well, if I’m lucky, I won’t wake up for at least a little while… 10+ hours feels awesome. :D

      Why don’t we just agree to disagree? That is, IF you are able to lower yourself to my highly animalistic and un-humanlike standards. I mean, only some crazy ape would argue the way im arguing, getting all angry, hurling insults at the other guys.. oh, wait…

      I do have big ears though. Maybe thats why im an “internet monster.” ;)

    • Guildenstern says:

      Oh yeah, teabaggers want the limited government. Limited government that supports biggest military on Earth, that constantly starts wars, that can wiretap at will, abduct people without charges and tortures them, that passes laws based on the bible and takes control of everyone’s sex lives and women’s uteruses. That limited government.

    • Guildenstern says:

      And “state’s rights” is just a code for letting states discriminate against women and minorities without federal government being able to intervene.

    • John Walker says:

      Okay – that’s enough out of all of you.

      The debate was doing surprisingly well above, bearing in mind the contentious nature of the topic, but you lot in this mini-thread have now descended to name-calling and mocking.

      If you cannot discuss the subject in a civil way, you’re welcome to swap phone numbers and scream at each other in private.

    • krazmych says:

      With all due respect John, I don’t think I once called anyone any names.

      All I did was point out there name-calling.

    • Guildenstern says:

      Yes, you just say things that are monstrously evil, but you sure do that without using any naughty words.

    • pipman300 says:

      okay NOW i’m done. peace out.

      smoke weed.

  28. sasayan says:

    I still really want a game where you play as an interpreter, going in after a battle and trying to clean up the US’s image and organize reconstruction. Especially if it required you to actually learn a little about their culture.

    • DrGonzo says:

      That is a very good idea. Although I imagine only 5 people would buy it unfortunately.

    • Atalanta says:

      That could be very, very cool. Assuming it was done well, I’d definitely play that.

    • Kommissar Nicko says:

      Cliffski could make a game like that. It would contain a lot of sliders though.

  29. scab120 says:

    Essentially, it’s no more or less brutal because its based on an ongoing conflict, but the controversy of that does draw attention to the inherent brutality of these games and we’re uncomfortable admitting that.

  30. Wedge says:

    I think what you’re seeing is precisely what is happening and there is no hypocrisy here. DICE is just making the multiplayer, and it is just another game as far as they are concerned. The single player component is what all the other fancy authentic blah blah blah talk is about. Medal of Honor started as a strictly single player experience, and it has long been the primary focus of the franchise. They just can’t sell it on that alone now, so they’re having DICE tack on a tweaked version of Battlefield for it’s multiplayer now.

  31. Zogtee says:

    Rabid dinosaurs and mutant vegetables in Medal of Honour. CONFIRMED.

  32. Spacewalk says:

    I think I’ll wait for a Rambo III mod where you are friends of the Taliban and you get to shoot Russians instead, like back in the good ole days.

  33. Brad Grenz says:

    It seems pretty simple to me. In the multi-player context I know that whoever I’m shooting at is just another dude playing a game. They were randomly assigned whatever character model they are inhabiting at the time, so it’s absurd for me to attach any significance to that. Hell, it may blow your mind, but some guy who is in the Taliban in real life could be playing on the American team in game RIGHT NOW! Point is, it is a game and in multi-player the only meaningful context is the competition between yourself, your online teammates and the opposing team, all of whom are probably regular dudes, if perhaps a bit foul-mouthed. I’m not thinking about ideologies, because online that isn’t what the fight is about.

  34. moraes says:

    It’s morally wrong to play as the US-led occupation force.

    • nil says:

      Only because the opposing force is not the Tea Party (worst well-regulated militia ever imo.)

  35. biscotti says:

    I want this game to be big. And then I want the real horror of what’s going on here to sink in to the American and British public: a reduction of war to its basest lowest common denominator and, worse, trivialising it into points and one-ups, for the millionth time in this medium’s short lifespan. And then I want a severe and all-encompassing backlash on first person shooters. And then I want a marketplace flooded with games that are interesting to me. Because this one isn’t, except for the controversy. Which sort of makes it even worse.

    • D says:

      “And then I want a severe and all-encompassing backlash on war.”
      Oh my god guys! Don’t you see, we’re all the same! This game demonstrates it so perfectly!

  36. Chimay says:

    Come on, world is a big place. In asia, europe, africa, southamerica the majority wants to play against US troops, not as US troops. The game has to sell in china, russia, india, france, brazil to not just in the US. So sure people will want to play as Taliban, and should. Its not up to DICE to pick sides.

  37. SiUnit says:

    Nobody complains about the media advertising the Taliban’s cause to billions of people every hour of every day.

  38. Jayt says:

    Please call the director of hurt locker and ask for her to return the Oscar, because the movie is about an on going conflict.

  39. BeamSplashX says:

    I don’t understand why multiplayer can’t be wrapped up in the form of training exercises of some kind. Heck, it operates on less fidelity than ArmA and Flashpoint, so selling it as a “simulation” per the game’s real-world rules can’t be too hard.

  40. robrob says:

    Taliban this filth!

  41. Kommissar Nicko says:

    In days past there was a game produced by the American government entitled “America’s Army,” if any of you recall. While most people said it was poo, it was actually okay and it was quite free to play, as propaganda should be.

    In the multiplayer mode, both sides played as American soldiers, however, the enemy always looked like baby-eating insurgents. So, using the power of movie magic, you always believed you were an American solider, eating apple pie and loving democracy while you fought for freedom, and that your opponent was busy hating everything about the West and tearing down the Great Satan by shooting you. Simultaneously, your opponent also was playing a liberty-loving American soldier, and they saw you as a Tango badman.

    By this method, everyone was a winner, nobody had to play as the “bad guy,” and it was a very poignant reflection of the human condition all around. Interestingly enough, nobody thought twice about it, maybe because very few people remember that game.

  42. machineisbored says:

    Yes, because the plight of the PC gamer can really be compared with that of the average oppressed Afghani.

  43. Aftershock says:

    So…. it’s perfectly fine for us to gun down insurgents, but when they shoot back it’s all ZOMG THEY SHOOTIN US!

    This seems incredibly biased towards the “shooting americans = bad, shooting others = good” side of things. (not the rps piece(<3), more the generally interweb umming and aahhing).
    Whilst i accept that the depiction of current and real conflicts in a video game scenario is a contentious issue that requires reasonable debate, that of playing as the OTHER SIDE in such a conflict wouldn't seem to matter.

  44. Huggster says:

    Look, they are making a game which will sell millions which is based in some alternate reality where such things as GOOD and EVIL exist.
    People are stupid and lazy, and will believe anything, as long as it means there are no GREY AREAS in life.
    Because real life problems like war are confusing, contradictory and complicated and require and incredible amount of effort and reasonable thought to resolve.
    And would that make a FUN game? Hell no, because a realistic game about war would make you feel BAD, SYMPATHETIC, DEPRESSED, motivated to DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT and realise ALL YOUR PRECONCEPTIONS MIGHT BE WRONG.
    And we can’t have that, can we?

    • Deuteronomy says:

      Huggster you know what would be awesome? If the Caliphate does win the long game. And your sister, mother have burkhas forced on them. And you are forced to recant your fucked up leftist notions at sword point. And Gaia will bend over for Allah. And your kind will rue the day it made its dark alliance.

  45. Daave says:

    If Nazis and Viet Cong are acceptable video game fodder and the Taliban aren’t then it’s simply because of how recent the wars are, and if it’s simply a matter of waiting x years before it is acceptable then in truth it’s acceptable right now.

    I think No Russian is in much poorer taste, as it was part of the overall narrative, whereas MP is almost always without context.

  46. Joshua says:

    Playing as the Taliban is wrong, but playing as the nazis is very okay…

    So medal of honour will need to be released 50 years later, and then we will not have this discussion.

    • Joshua says:

      Oh. Forget I said anything. It has already been said.

      I wonder how they are going to represent everything. Off course, it might just be a generic fragfest. They might also put some ‘background’ in, for example, the announcer voice or loading screens and whatnot. Make it feel as if you are really a Taliban, defending your home against the evil opressors from the west…

      But somehow, that’s CONTROVERSIAL. While fighting to force your policies on some other country obviosly isn’t…

      (Yes, I am quite cynical in this post. I actually like what the USA and NATO does in Afghenistan (not so sure about Iraq, and it is a shame the dutch pulled out in Afhenistan just as they were really getting the hang of it), but still… We keep hearing that being the Taliban is BAD. While being an American soldier in the Vietnam war (which involves dropping napalm on small villages which have a small possibilityh that they might be connected to an person, group, or object involved with the Vietcong) is awesome and you are the good guy and whatnot.

    • kaday says:

      Labelling every Weirmacht Soldier who fought during WWII a Nazi would be like labelling every USMC trooper a Republican during the invasion of iraq (something a certain Q Tarantino needed to comprehend when he wrote IB). Political force Vs policy tool, understand the difference people. SS = Nazi Weirmacht = German Army.

  47. neofit says:

    “However, get into multiplayer and I’m shooting at XK1LL3R-73, not the Germans, or the Taleban. I can’t think of an MP game (although it’s not necessarily my widest pool of experience) where the significance of the opposing side’s avatar’s ethnicity has had any impact upon me.”

    You are getting personal because you are only playing fooking retarded fragfests (sorry for the technical terms). Last time I played such a game, the BFBC2 beta (thanks again Steam for cancelling my pre-order), I was feeling the same way, like I was playing against specific people.

    But when I am playing a proper infantry game like Arma2 or WW2OL, I don’t even think that XK1LL3R-73 or whatever may be on the other side. I usually never even get close enough to see his face or get personal in any way. I have a combat mission against whatever faction I am fighting against, and I am doing it.

    This MOH game I am afraid will fall into the fragfest category like BFBC2. But even if I was inclined to play a shooter with a health bar, I am not sure I could identify with playing a Taliban, nor playing as that Blackwater ZZTop dude they keep showing everywhere.

  48. Phinor says:

    Out of sight, out of mind, eh? I couldn’t care less if they were Talibans or Canadian troops. I’m all about the “it’s a game”. Obviously I do have some limits but things like these don’t come close to those limits. It’s war, it’s real and it’s happening right now. Having to wait ten years to make a game or write a book about it is just silly.

    Not that I will be playing MoH as the beta was very, very average.

  49. RUN msdos.exe -DMC says:

    If they have a sex scene innit, then they are sooper hooped.

  50. Rosti says:

    If only you could talk to the Taliban. That’d be something.