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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Andrew EisenWhen I write about these massacres, I don't use the shooter's name or picture. I'm not saying everyone has to play it that way but that's how I prefer to do it.10/25/2014 - 12:44am
Andrew EisenYep, it's why the news media stopped spotlighting numbnuts who run out on the field during sporting events.10/25/2014 - 12:01am
Matthew Wilsonin media research its called the copycat effect. it simply says that if the news covers one mass shooting shooter, it increases the likelihood of another person going on a mass shooting.10/25/2014 - 12:00am
Andrew EisenAgreed. It bugs me that I know the names, faces and personal histories of a bunch of mass shooters but I couldn't tell you the name of or recognize a photo of a single one of their victims.10/24/2014 - 11:51pm
AvalongodAgree with Quiknkold. @Mecha...if that worked we would have figured out how to prevent these long ago.10/24/2014 - 11:32pm
MechaCrashUnfortunately, you have to focus on the perpetrator to figure out the whys so you can try to prevent it from happening again.10/24/2014 - 10:55pm
quiknkoldpoor girl. poor victims. rather focus on them then the shooter. giving too much thought to the monster takes away from the victims.10/24/2014 - 10:15pm
Andrew EisenFor what it's worth, early reports are painting the motive as "he was pissed that a particular girl wouldn't date him."10/24/2014 - 10:12pm
quiknkoldwell then I suck as a man cause I ask for help when necessary :P10/24/2014 - 10:07pm
Technogeek(That said, mostly I was making the smartass evopsych comment because your post seemed like the kind of just-so story that has come to dominate 99% of its usage.)10/24/2014 - 10:04pm
TechnogeekHell, Liam Neeson built his modern career around it. Cultural factors likely play a far greater role than you appear willing to admit.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
TechnogeekSeriously, though, the idea of "because women are protectors and that's why they never commit school shootings" is, at best, grossly overreductive. There's nothing inherently feminine about being willing to kill in order to protect one's offspring.10/24/2014 - 10:03pm
MechaCrashThe "toxic masculinity" thing refers to how you have to SUCK IT UP AND BE A MAN because seeking help is seen as weakness, which means you suck at manliness, so it builds and builds and builds until something finally snaps.10/24/2014 - 10:01pm
quiknkoldthere, I'm done. And thats what Christmas is all about, Charlie Brown10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldand I am not spouting Evopsych, technogeek. tbh I never heard the phrase till you said it. I'm going off my observations.10/24/2014 - 9:54pm
quiknkoldmoreover, the guy who did this isnt even white. He was native american according to the news report I read. Also that he went for a specific target. That's a much different picture than a certain Sandy Hook guy who will not be named10/24/2014 - 9:53pm
quiknkoldbut I am also certain nobody in their right mind is committing these shootings singing the Machoman song. these are sick individuals who have given up on life10/24/2014 - 9:51pm
Technogeekevopsych lol10/24/2014 - 9:49pm
quiknkoldWhen you suffer from mental illness, youre more likely to go by instinct. yes. I came off as sexist.10/24/2014 - 9:46pm
quiknkoldmore on somthing they are fixated on. Post Partum Depression is an example. This is why a woman is less likely to go off on a rampage.10/24/2014 - 9:44pm
 

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