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Former Marine Comments On MOH Afghanistan Setting

It's not a game.

A former US Marine has given his thoughts on the new Medal Of Honor game and they are rather sobering. Benjamin Busch served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps and has served two combat tours in Iraq.

“I honestly don’t like that Medal of Honor depicts the war in Afghanistan right now, because — even as fiction — it equates the war with the leisure of games. Changing the name of the enemy doesn’t change who it is.” he said.

“Imagine how frustrating this game would be if, just as you began to play it, an invisible sniper shot you dead every time. The game would not be popular, because being killed that way isn’t fair — just like war. Reality has a way of correcting misconceptions.”

Mr. Busch makes a strong argument on behalf of serving soldiers and – unlike certain British MPs – has a balanced view of the game, noting the title is unlikely ‘to lure anyone into Islamic fundamentalism.’ Also, unlike British MPs his words have a hell of an impact;

“A video game can produce no wounds and take no friends away.”

“Those who truly want to play for a Medal of Honor, recruiters are standing by. Only eight have been awarded since we invaded Afghanistan. All but one have been posthumous.”

If you wish to read the entire article from Mr. Busch (or listen to it – it’s taken from a radio show) then click here.

To be honest I’ve never given the setting of Medal of Honor much thought, it’s just another game and you could argue that we have all been slaughtering Russians, Japanese and Allies in countless games without giving two hoots.

The difference is they were faceless, nameless grunts. Benjamin (pictured to the left) has mates who are in Afghanistan, being shot at right now.

Source: NPR.

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36 Comments
  1. mcduff1979
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    well there is the irony, i have served in both iraq (twice) and afghanistan ( twice), and im really looking forward to this game.

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:37.
    • bajere
      Member
      Since: Aug 2008

      yea i think this is the problem with this whole issue. some dont see a problem, its just a game with team names from real life and others see it as disrespectful using names of armys killing people the game is mostly sold in.

      I think your either one or the other, for me, im not to fussed as its just a game. and using the current names would give the game more relevance and me more connection to the story.

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:50.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      Excellent. Are you single? :D

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 14:03.
  2. hol
    Member
    Since: Oct 2009

    Hmm, it’s a tricky thing basing any game on any conflict in reality but harder still when that conflict is still current? I’ve nothing but respect for those serving in the armed forces and I suspect most of you have too? That said it does bring up some moral questions as to if we should base games, a fun pastime, on such an issue but I don’t really know were or if a line should be drawn?

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:39.
  3. cc_star
    Team TSA: Writer
    Since: Forever

    Don’t even know why they bothered with Afghanistan… they could just set it in a dusty country called xxxxxxistan and it would have made zero, perhaps even less than zero difference to the gameplay.

    They could have still enlisted the advice of US Special Forces (although I’m not sure friendly fire missions are needed in a game) for that added sense of faux authenticity which makes a nice bullet point on the back of the box but makes little difference to the game they were going to make with or without their involvement.

    Its all one big marketing exercise without which we’d have spent the last couple of months talking about CoD:BO hardly giving this a mention

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:43.
    • SpikeyMikey23
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      dirkdirkistan ;)

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:46.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Laurelandstan?

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:55.
      • bunimomike
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        Mynameisstan?

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:55.
      • SpikeyMikey23
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        would the real stan, please make himself known!

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:59.
      • solidsteven
        Never heard of him.
        Since: May 2010

        Backestan, Frontiestan,F**kingstan ok i stfu now.

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 14:50.
  4. CdmanJak
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    who cares he choose to go to war how does this concern him

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:49.
    • bunimomike
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      How splendidly immature. The game depicts soldiers that he can associate with and the crux of the matter is how tasteless such depictions are.

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:57.
      • Dexter17
        Member
        Since: Jun 2009

        Completely agree with Bunimomike. He has served two tours in Afghanistan and you are saying that it doesn’t concern him?

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 16:12.
    • Yellow 13
      Banned
      Since: Apr 2010

      This comment is hidden.

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 16:12.
    • Hoodie
      Member
      Since: Sep 2010

      Good job he did isn’t it? These blokes fight for our beliefs. If more people played games instead the world would be a far more dangerous place.

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 22:26.
      • jikomanzoku
        Member
        Since: Jan 2010

        eh?

        Comment posted on 13/10/2010 at 12:12.
  5. mcduff1979
    Member
    Since: Jun 2009

    all i can add to this is that its a game, its to be taken in the context to which it was created, this is in my opinion more tasteful than cod mw2’s airline terminal. i guess my arguement here is that society seems fine with any game based all be it loosely on an “old” war/scenario but takes great offence when its based on a conflict here and now, which to me seems silly and really very unfair. for example cods airline terminal massacre, seems to be a tad excessive and glorifies the innocent slaughter of alot of people but because they were russians all the censors gave IW a slap on the wrist and said naughty naughty, as no one cares about the cold war scenarios anymore, moh seems to be paying (in my opinion only of course), tribute to the tier one and other soldiers fighting out in afghan. but it being a “current” war the politics takes over, in a few years time after afghan scenario is no longer an option, MOH will be looked at and people will ask what all the fuss was about.

    im sorry to all for any offence, this is just my opinion, and i for one will definately be playing this “game” when i t arrives thurs or fri.

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:49.
    • SpikeyMikey23
      Member
      Since: Jul 2009

      i agree, we dont hear from the japanese when a bunch of americans are calling them slopes and burning them in world at war for example. When the war is truely over and afgahnistan and iraq are regularly feature in fps’s, no one will bat an eyelid

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:55.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Look at all the WWII movies AFTER WWII and all the ‘nam movies AFTER ‘nam

        See my comment above, its all just one big publicity stunt

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 14:10.
      • SpikeyMikey23
        Member
        Since: Jul 2009

        wow, I just re-read that sentence! awful! LOL

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 14:33.
  6. minerwilly
    Member
    Since: Feb 2009

    Just had to cancel my pre order , gutted but food is more important than games plus i just discovered the oil sump on my car is corroded and leaking slowly . I predict it will get 8/10 simply because its not cod .
    I am still in love with BFBC2 and just got my 120hrs 5 day patch award . Hopefully I can pick it up cheap around Christmas.

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 13:49.
    • minerwilly
      Member
      Since: Feb 2009

      My 8/10 prediction was correct !

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 23:49.
  7. bigdon23
    Member
    Since: Jul 2010

    its true that real war is very different to games for a start you work as a team and rehearse 1 tactic time and time again to get it spot on where as games there are no tactics and no teamwork. to make a game really realistic would be boring to say the leased. i think thats why devs give us places we recognise so a game is instantly playing in our sub conscience as real

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 14:02.
  8. PriceKitty
    Since: Jan 1970

    “Changing the name of the enemy doesn’t change who it is.”
    I agreed with this quote a lot.

    Except what he doesn’t realize is that it’s just a game lol.

    Even if they made the Taliban different, it wouldn’t change the way people think of them, so why worry about the way people think about our soldiers? That probably wouldn’t change as well.

    We understand that there are soldiers out there being shot at, but they would be getting shot at whether they made the game or not.

    I think everyone is just overreacting about all this.
    Call of Duty has “Opfor” killing American/English soldiers also, but I don’t see you ragging on them. :)

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 15:18.
    • Tuffcub
      On the naughty step.
      Since: Dec 2008

      He’s no objecting to the Taliban, more that the game is turning what is a horrific ongoing conflict in to entertainment. It’s vey tricky area, if you condemn this then you condemn every movie about Jack The Ripper.It really comes down to time – historical events have their atrocities dulled by time, there are not many WW1 verterans around to object to games.

      Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 16:09.
      • DrNate86
        Member
        Since: Apr 2010

        There are loads of films out at the moment though like the Hurt Locker and Green Zone that turn the current war into entertainment. This is only getting so much attention because it is a game, and therefore the root of all evil.

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 16:43.
      • cc_star
        Team TSA: Writer
        Since: Forever

        Yeah but look how they deal with the subject matter in comparison to:

        run around shoot anything that moves, get killed, respawn, run around and shoot anything that moves, get killed, respawn…

        Can you imagine the vids uploaded to the internet and therefore seen out of context of a videogame?

        Films are massively better at storytelling and therefore providing reasoning behind the violence that videogames are still a long way from

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 16:54.
      • Tuffcub
        On the naughty step.
        Since: Dec 2008

        Agree with CC – with films you have (or at least if the film makers do it right, should have) an emotionl attachment to characters. If the die, you should be upset. You dont get that in games and I think that is what Busch is getting at. Life is cheap in gaming.

        Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 17:47.
  9. gazzagb
    Master of speling mitakse
    Since: Feb 2009

    I agree with what he’s saying, I think its totally in-sensitive to have a game, which is designed to be entertainment set in a place where right now, our soldiers are getting injured and dying.

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 17:03.
  10. Grey_Ghost13
    Member
    Since: Aug 2009

    Agree with cc_star and Tuffcub and how hardly with Mr.Busch. There is such a difference from watching a movie to playing a game. There are two different types of attachment here. Like what Tuffcub said, if a writer or director does their job right you can get so emotionally attached the story/characters your watching. With games we are just not at that level yet, until we have our great games that can tell a story like the movies can that moves gaming to the next level I don’t think gaming will get the level of social acceptance that it deserves. I think we’re getting there, the Uncharted games have great stories to tell, Naughty Dog are good at that and I would like to see what they could do with a compelling issue like the afghan war.

    Comment posted on 12/10/2010 at 19:12.

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