PX Commanding General Explains Global Ban On Medal Of Honor Game

The commanding general of of the US Army and US Air Force Exchange Services told Kotaku today that his decision to have Medal of Honor pulled from US military bases worldwide was spurred by "well-documented reports of depictions of Taliban fighters engaging American troops" in the game.

"Out of respect to those we serve, we will not be stocking this game," Commander Maj Gen Bruce Casella told Kotaku. "We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorised shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life and death scenarios this product presents as entertainment. As a military command with a retail mission, we serve a very unique customer base that has, or possibly will, witness combat in real life."

The determination to not offer Medal of Honor impacts all US Army and US Air Force Exchange operations worldwide, including its website and 49 on-base and post GameStops. Any reserve or preorders placed through shopmyexchange.com will be cancelled. Preorders originally placed through GameStops on Army and Air Force installations will be transferred to the nearest GameStop off the Base or Post.

We've contacted EA for comment and will update when they respond.


Comments

    Personally I think they've handled this exceptionally well.

    They have made the best choice possible in declining to stock and sell the item from stores located on base. At the same time there is no word that soldiers are not allowed to play the game or have it in there possession, they just have to purchase it at a different location, and the whole decision has been made out of respect, not wanting to offend, NOT because they are disgusted or angry.

    Level headed, common sense, human decency.

    Will be interested to see EA's response.

    +1 Blake. I was one of the quickest to dismiss the British Minister of Defence and his complaining about the game being un-British, but this is something a little bit different.

    This is a level-headed decision, being made by relevant people who have a genuine vested interest in serving that very unique customer base, as they put it. I'd be very curious as to whether they stock other games that might pit players against the Allied forces, or the availability of other media that depict the same.

    Well, its not in the nature of the military, Army specifically, to disallow soldiers to play the game, or conduct themselves in any way they wish, in the privacy of their own barracks or home. As long as their actions, activities, and behavior dont conflict with mission, morale, and welfare of themselves and others, anything is permissable. Troops can buy this game offpost and play it all day if they want.

    As for what the PX sells, its a totally different matter, because basically if the PX sells it they are saying 'we think this product will be positive and beneficial to our servicemembers and their families'. The CG said this: "“We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorised shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life and death scenarios this product presents as entertainment. As a military command with a retail mission, we serve a very unique customer base that has, or possibly will, witness combat in real life.”

    The fundamental issue with new MOH, in the Army's view, is selling a game in which someone can be a Talib role player and kill U.S. Troops ingame. This is fundamentally against the Army's principles, and is debilitating in some scenarios. Now, there are groups of people acting as role-player towelheads at several Army installations who are actively engaged in training as we speak, but this is the farthest thing from entertainment you could imagine.

    If I was deployed to Kabul, and people back home, especially other soldiers and families, were playing a game where he was playing as one of the enemy combatants that I faced every day, I would feel disrespected and feel that the people back home dont give a f*ck that these Talibs are trying to kill as many of us as possible. If it was my own kids playing a game they got from the PX, I would begin to doubt why my leadership (Gen. Casella, AAFES) would condone what could be seen as enemy propaganda on post. Some guys may blow it off, but most would see it as inappropriate, especially if they had real life friends and battle buddies who had been killed by Talibs.

    Now that's just my speculation, but the logic is solid.

    F*ck Gamestop if they have a problem with banning sales of a game that depicts and allows players to rehearse killing AAFES best customers at the same time that real life stuff is happening. Timing is a factor too: nobody is worried about the morale of the USMC in Guadalcanal today, so selling a game where Japs fight Marines is waaay different, from an Army Leadership perspective.

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