Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH Comments

September 9, 2010 -

In response to Canadian Defence Minster Peter MacKay’s (pictured) disapproving comments about the Electronic Arts game Medal of Honor, an Ottawa Citizen columnist took to his pulpit in order to offer a spirited defense (defence) of videogames.

Referring to the ability to play as the Taliban in the game, MacKay had said that, “I'm sure most Canadians are uncomfortable and angry about this.”

In his column, Dan Gardner replied, “No one ever accused Peter MacKay of being Her Majesty's most cerebral minister…”

MacKay had also lamented that children might take on the role of insurgents in the game, a point which Gardner addressed:

The game is not for children. It is a graphic, frighteningly realistic "first-person shooter" -- meaning the player sees the battlefield from the perspective of an individual soldier -- stuffed with blood, gore, and death, and any child whose parent allows him to play such a game should worry more about the quality of his supervision than the effects of playing violent video games.

As for adults, the columnist noted that it’s hard to be concerned about grown ups playing as Taliban members because, as a fan of Call of Duty: World at War, “I occasionally spend my free time playing Nazi.”

About his time spent as a Nazi, Gardner wrote:

I can't say this experience has made me noticeably more sympathetic to Nazis; indeed, I find nothing so relaxing before bedtime as shooting a few.

Gardner then referenced the WikiLeaks video released earlier this year, in which American forces in Iraq were seen wiping out a whole contingent of what was thought to be insurgents. At least a few members of the group killed were later identified as Reuters journalists.

Using this incident to paint MacKay’s view of the war in Afghanistan as “warped,” Gardner wrote that MacKay’s view of the conflict in a “fanstasy” light isn’t much different than how he guesses the war will be portrayed in the game, as “a boy's own adventure of courage and derring-do.”

Comments

Re: Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH ...

The line "a man who seems to think Red Dawn was a documentary" is also spot-on.  Although in his defense, Mackay isn't quite as dumb as the proverbial bag of rocks.  That honour goes to Stockwell Day, who believes that The Flintstones serves as proof of man coexisting with dinosaurs.

Also, the analogy to the leaked helicopter video made me think of a point that I don't think has been raised yet: on any decent multiplayer server, going against the rules (engaging intentionally in friendly fire, for instance) gets you banned.  If games are so bad, how come they're maintained better than wars?

 

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Fangamer

Re: Columnists Rips Canadian Defence Minister for MOH ...

Obviously they didn't check to see if the reticle turned red first.

A terrible joke, to be sure [and I apologize for any offense], but if there's a point to be made, it's that we don't focus on the kill when we play games: we just play a game. The violence affects very few gamers because gamers don't see it as real violence, the way overly-sensitive parents and uninformed politicians assume we do.

Key factor: they assume. Way too much, if you ask me. I think every concerned parent and politician in the world needs a week-long time out to play a massive game of Battlefield or CoD. If they play it they way we do and still come back from a marathon session with concerns, only then would I take the time to address them on equal ground.

Until that time, I find their opinions on games about as worthwhile as they would think mine on any given political system: sophomoric.

 
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Papa MidnightKyle Orland's response: http://arstechnica.com/gaming/2014/09/addressing-allegations-of-collusion-among-gaming-journalists/09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Papa MidnightJames, I say this as a person who has managed a gaming press website before: This article is horrendous sensationalism: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/09/17/Exposed-the-secret-mailing-list-of-the-gaming-journalism-elite09/18/2014 - 12:41pm
Krono@james I never said you did. I was responding to Andrew's statement that he'd seen a mere two articles suggesting that the term gamer was tainted, by pointing him to a list of the articles that were more or less the orgin of the idea.09/18/2014 - 12:09pm
E. Zachary KnightBut james, you replied to my tweet when I tweeted about one of those articles. That is basically the same thing as writing an editorial on GP in support of it. ;)09/18/2014 - 12:04pm
james_fudgeNot only did we not write one, we didn't cover any of them either.09/18/2014 - 11:46am
KronoThe underlying suggestion most of the articles had that gamers supporting the issue were just the young men stereotype pissed off a lot of people, and sparked the #NotYourShield tag09/18/2014 - 9:41am
Krono@andrew Just two? The whole reason #GamerGate gained real traction was that 9 op-eds including arguments to that effect dropped in 24 hours: http://markdownshare.com/view/a524affd-e679-40be-8aa1-72058065dc2a09/18/2014 - 9:38am
MaskedPixelantehttp://www.gog.com/forum/general/double_fine_abandoned_spacebase_df9_development ITT: People who don't know what Early Access is.09/18/2014 - 9:32am
ZippyDSMleeFF2/4 remake now on steam.09/18/2014 - 9:13am
james_fudgeThis what they really think of us: http://www.donotlink.com/framed?54192709/18/2014 - 9:10am
ConsterAh yes, nothing quite says "I take offense to being associated with an awful few" like siding with said awful few.09/18/2014 - 9:07am
Michael ChandraSo be smart, and if you want to be part of the good guys, separate yourself from the bad guys. Don't attack those upset you won't.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraMeanwhile, Gamergate is tainted and wise people already use a different tag to defend decent arguments. Keeping it up is like going #KKK while arguing about PoC.09/18/2014 - 6:30am
Michael ChandraSo while claiming to be unfairly attacked for the actions of a selected few, you unfairly attack an entire crowd for the actions of a selected few? #notagamer #butahater09/18/2014 - 6:30am
james_fudgeQuiknkold: Let me ask you- how many of those 'gamers are dead' articles did you see here? Because apparently i'm part of some vast conspiracy.09/18/2014 - 5:18am
NeenekoAh, that old straw man. That is one of the ironies about the discussion, the whole point is showing how good people can still have problems with sexism and not realize it.09/17/2014 - 9:11pm
Andrew EisenYes, there have been a handful of op-eds suggesting that the term “gamer” has become tainted (two that I know of) but that’s the opinion of only a few. I've seen an equal number from those who disagree.09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
Andrew EisenExcept, you haven't provided a single example of a site that’s actually calling gamers a "collective of Sexist White Bigoted Basement Dwelling Manchildren."09/17/2014 - 8:55pm
TechnogeekIf you want to make the stereotype of gamers less painful, try calling people out when they do bad shit rather than handwave it away as "not all gamers". Even if it is a few bad apples, that'll still more than enough to spoil the barrel.09/17/2014 - 8:53pm
quiknkoldI'm not going to Sell Gamergate anymore. It can sell itself. But I will sell the integrity of the Gamer. That we are still good people, who create and donate to charitys, Who engage with those around us and just want to have a good time.09/17/2014 - 7:35pm
 

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