Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES Stores

October 8, 2010 -

While Electronic Arts made the adjustment to rename the Taliban to “Opposing Force” in the multiplayer part of Medal of Honor, a ban on the game appearing in GameStop stores located in Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) locations is still in place.

The decision by AAFES officials puzzled a Stars & Striped columnist, who inventoried other violent games available in AAFES locations, such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Grand Theft Auto IV.

The story quotes one soldier, an “avid gamer” named Marine Cpl. Aaron Hostutler, as stating that the ban was most likely made by “a commander who doesn’t play video games and hasn’t caught up with the times yet.”

Hostutler continued:

In ‘Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,’ you can play as several different countries’ forces and often you’re playing against and killing Marines or our allies. I don’t understand how ‘Medal of Honor’ is any different.

The Marine also noted that AAFES stores also sell booze and tobacco, “substances that actually hurt people when they choose to use it.”

An EA spokesperson said about the ban, “EA has not asked for, and does not expect, a change in the Defense Department's decision to restrict the availability of Medal of Honor on bases.”


Comments

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

Hold on a second.

They won't sell a game based on actual events that looks like it's done tastefully where American troops fight Taliban forces, but it's perfectly fine to sell a game where a huge chunk of players cause chaos for fun and shoot soldiers for no reason other than joy?

Wow.

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

Not that I'm doubting you, but, what game would you be referring to? I ask mainly because nothing comes to mind outside of GTA: III (I remember being able to blow away soldiers in that game, though it wasn't exactly a piece of cake either), since I don't really gravitate towards games of that ilk, I guess.

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

All the GTA games up to GTA4 allowed that, but GTA4 don't have the military. Less fun for that in my opinion, I loved seeing how to takeo n the armed forces.

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

So booze and Cod:Mw2 is okay but not Medal of Honor? your not making any since AAFES, even after Ea got rid of the Talibans. 

http://www.magicinkgaming.com/

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

Alcohol may kill people, including those in the service, but it doesn't have a face or eyes, or do anything on it's own.

At least, that's my explanation, and it makes perfect sense to me. I don't really agree with the notion that MOH deserves such hatred, but I can't necessarily blame anyone for not being thrilled, especially the military. Plenty of people in the service know someone who got killed by a Taliban fighter or the like.

When Amercia's involvement in conflicts in the Middle East is a good fifty to sixty years behind us, being able to play as a terrorist probably won't stir up nearly as much furor.

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

Plenty of people know someone who was killed by a Nazi, but nobody freaked out about any WW2 shooter.

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Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

It's not the men and women on the ground that have raised their voices about Medal of Honor; it's the people in charge of AAFES. The folks on the front lines have been told that they're fighting for freedom, so the in defense of freedom, they'd like to see freedom of any kind being respected back home. Armed forces that are trained to kill tend to not whine about what things are called. It's the armchair generals and bureaucrats who want to show off their feathers.

That said, I'm annoyed by the comments that depict EA's renaming of Taliban to Opposing Forces as EA being pressured by DOD. That was EA's choice. In the defense industry, companies regularly tell their government customers to shove it when the government requests something that's not part of their contracts. One long-time defense worker told me, "If EA was a defense company, they would told the DOD to **** off." DOD was very impressed with EA for obliging their request.

EA's action was also very smart for a number of reasons. The best reason why EA's response was smart is because it headed off a PR nightmare for the upcoming SCOTUS case. Nobody wanted the politicians to drag video games through the mud, shouting about how the video game industry is unpatriotic, anti-American, and disrespectful to the military and military families while we were trying to protect video games from regulation. EA shut that down. Yeah, Ian Bogost might have a point that EA didn't help the freedom of expression argument, but quite frankly, EA exercised its freedom, too--its freedom to restrain its expression and protect its business.

Re: Stars and Stripes: Plenty of Violent Games in AAFES ...

Oh I agree that EA was simply being tactful. Though I haven't explicitly stated it until now, I do feel that the Taliban-playing option in MOH was in poor taste, and altering it was a business decision that I agree with, much as I recognize and disapprove of the double-standard being applied, both for games in general and for that game in particular.

Basically, EA's decision was appropriate, but I will always feel it never should've been a big deal.

It's the armchair generals and bureaucrats who want to show off their feathers.

Regardless, that wouldn't be happening without American soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East. That was my whole point.

 
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Matthew WilsonI think its a good article, and devs can take some lessons from life is strange.04/24/2015 - 10:24pm
Andrew EisenI tinyURL'd it. The world is safe!04/24/2015 - 10:23pm
Matthew Wilson@AE my bad there is nothing I can do about that.04/24/2015 - 10:21pm
Andrew EisenLooks like the spoiler is right there in the URL.04/24/2015 - 10:20pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://tinyurl.com/ok9pf6b a interesting opinion piece on the life is strange episode 2, and a dark event that happens in it. full warning major spoilers.04/24/2015 - 10:11pm
Matthew Wilson@mech no just she, nor her co workers have not. she never said it is not real.04/24/2015 - 8:58pm
MechaCrashWas she saying "I haven't experienced it," or "I haven't experienced it therefore it does not exist"?04/24/2015 - 8:31pm
ZippyDSMleeoy the skyrim paid mod thing is going over well. My 2 lints, I would not mind if Skyrim had a full SDK and not a crappy lil editor....04/24/2015 - 6:46pm
Andrew EisenWell, that is indeed crappy and nonsensical.04/24/2015 - 3:45pm
Matthew Wilsonshe got attacked for saying that she personaly has not experienced the harassment some other female devs have, and she got acused of defending GG and ignoring harassment. she ended up getting dog piled because of it.04/24/2015 - 3:43pm
Andrew EisenFine but do you recall ANY details at all?04/24/2015 - 3:38pm
Matthew Wilsonit was several weeks ago now, and I will admit to not saving it.04/24/2015 - 3:36pm
Andrew EisenAttacked HOW and by WHOM for not writing off WHO as evil? Do you have a link or anything?04/24/2015 - 3:31pm
Matthew Wilsonthat is the whole point she was not attacked for saying anything. she was attacked for being willing to debate in the first place, and not just write them off as evil.04/24/2015 - 3:28pm
Andrew EisenI know there's not a lot of room in the Shout box but goodness you're being vague.04/24/2015 - 3:26pm
Andrew EisenGreat, but that STILL doesn't tell me what she said, why she was attacked (or what the attack was) or what "standard line" she's following. Details, man. Details!04/24/2015 - 3:25pm
Andrew EisenOr what the heck Nina White (someone else I've never heard of) is actually referring to.04/24/2015 - 3:24pm
Matthew Wilson@AE she is a game dev. she used to do stuff with hormanix and now works with https://outact.net/#!/?page_id=2 she will often engage and debate both side.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew Eisen...following.04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
Andrew EisenYou mean focus on stopping the bad behavior of those who are doing it rather than condemning all the people that associate with them? Great. But I still don't know who Emma Clarkson is, what she said, why she was attacked or what "standard line" she's04/24/2015 - 3:23pm
 

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