US Marine: Medal Of Honor Turns War Into 'Participatory Cinema'

A former US Marine has delivered a thoughtful piece on many of the creative decisions surrounding the latest game in the Medal of Honor series.

"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," Iraq veteran Benjamin Busch says. "Changing the name of the enemy doesn't change who it is."

He is referring to EA's decision to remove the term "Taliban" from the game's multiplayer component.

"But what nation or military has the right to govern fiction? Banning the representation of an enemy is imposing nationalism on entertainment. The game cannot train its players to be actual skilled special operations soldiers, nor is it likely to lure anyone into Islamic fundamentalism. It can grant neither heroism nor martyrdom. What it does do is make modern war into participatory cinema. That is its business."

Regardless of which side of the tasteless/art argument your own views reside, it's a really great read.

Why A Video Game Does Not A Soldier Make [NPR]


    There can definitely be parallels between video games and soldiers involved in war. Take Call of Duty Modern Warfare in the level in which you control bomb drops by video, this was mirrored in a leaked video of a soldier in the Iraq war behaving if he was playing a video game:

      Ever consider that MW2 hit the nail on the head??

      I work in a paramilitary environment, and I know for a fact that when you're looking at imagery on FLIR from 1000' or in their case much higher, you definitely feel detached from the scene.

      I can definitely see real soldiers saying those things, and I think MW2 emulated it well.

    Tama, Same could be said of all the video's of the war, perhaps MW was copying reality not the other way around?

    Anyways this article is stunning and a privilege to read, thank you for bringing it here.

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