What, EXACTLY is the problem with getting to play the bad guy in Medal of Honor?

Approximate Reading Time: 2 minutes

NYT imageVideo Games – In Medal of Honor, Role Playing Includes Taliban – NYTimes.com.

Real live soldiers are dying for the cause of freedom (not to mention piles of innocent bystanders), yet having the freedom to play what you want and how you want is a problem (We’re talking about a GAME, remember???). HUH?

If Medal of Honor let you play as the Taliban throughout an entire single-player campaign, then we would have a real controversy on our hands.


I absolutely understand that this may offend some people. That’s not in question.

Those reality shows where the winner is the biggest bully who was the most manipulative and deceitful are supremely offensive to me. I would still defend people’s right to make this Dreck, and I would also still defend people’s right to watch it. AND (and this is very important), whether or not I would be friends with people who make or like these shows would depend on something other than their television watching preferences even though I may never understand how they find this entertaining. That’s kind of what tolerance is about.

Imagine the reaction to a game that included a mission where you were cooperating with Al Qaeda during the siege of Tora Bora and had to protect Osama bin Ladenwhile spiriting him to safety.

Hmmmm. Imagine the reaction to a game that included a mission where you played a young auto mechanic forced to join the National Socialist Party in order to keep your home and job in 1940’s Germany. I’m sure some can’t. I’m sure some would find this equally heinous.

I happen to think that we lose our own humanity the instant we start to view the “other” as something less than us. I happen to think it is important for us to look at things from several sides. Only when we have an understanding of the situation that goes beyond, “ME, GOOD; YOU, BAD” do we have a hope of getting past the violence.

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