Rant: A Postwriter Contemplates The Stupidnaming Of Warfighter

We have a clubhouse leader for stupidest triple-A game name of 2012, and it's at least seven months from release. Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

Say it three times fast. For sure, the last word ends up "Warfare" on the third try. If a focus group wanted to develop a name that highlighted the derivative nature of military shooters and spoofed civilian attempts to speak armed forces' jargon, you couldn't have done a better job than Medal of Honor: Warfighter.

As a former military affairs reporter, I heard that word, warfighter, a lot in doctrinal texts and officialspeak. It sounded to me like John Madden reminding us we were watching football players making football plays in a football game. There are many roles in a war -- medic, photographer, correspondent -- but I always figured that "fighter" wasn't one that needed the three-letter qualifier.

Warfighter. Stick that in Wikipedia and it takes you to the page for "soldier". There's no entry for it in Merriam-Webster. Warfighter is, to my mind, a Pentagon label that respects all US services' need for their personnel to be called something other than "troops". The Army has soldiers, the Navy, sailors or seamen. Air Force has airmen and the marines are, well, they're marines. Sir.

Warfighter. Leaving aside its ties to Ghost Recon: Advanced Warfighter (and the Clancyite love of that term speaks to its puffed-up redundancy) this is basically: "Medal of Honor: Soldier". Even the parody comments we heard after the title's reveal would carry greater description: Gunshooter. Tankdriver. Spawncamper. At least those connote a speciality.

But its syntactical similarity to Modern Warfare also gets in the way of its meaning. Medal of Honor: Warfighter contains all the letters of Modern Warfare with nine left over. They form these acronyms:

LIGHT HOOF

THIGH FOOL

LIGHT OF HO

OOH, FLIGHT

If you leave out a stray letter or two, you've got, GOOF HIT, GO HIT FLO or HI, HOT LOG.

You can rearrange the letters of Modern Warfare however you like; in the end, that's still all you have. Medal of Honor: Warfighter not only fails to communicate what it might do differently from Modern Warfare, the title fails to communicate what it would do differently from a mid-February straight-to-DVD vehicle like Act of Valor.

This is the naming equivalent of terrible cover art. Please go back and reconsider.


Comments

    What's with all of these rants? Someone shit in your coffee this morning?

      He might be on the rag as well.... I just don't know.

    Owen Good Next time you make an article please try to think about if anyone will give a shit or not. Cause right now i'm struggling to give a shit about this article...

    Number of shits given = 0

    OK . So BF3 players are not that whiny after all? I mean this is a name not a game breaker . Any way have a nice day:)

    This is the naming equivalent of terrible cover art. Please go back and reconsider.

    Woah...look out

    "Say it three times fast. For sure, the last word ends up “Warfare” on the third try."

    For sure, it does not.

    Rant: Owen Good

    This isn't journalism. Just a bitchy wordy opinion piece. I don't consider myself a huge modern shooter fan but why so much hate? You wrote a 9 paragraph long article on the topic of "a dumb name". You sound like that douchey guy who picks out spelling errors in a cafes menu.

      No one's saying it is journalism? It's an opinion piece. I agree it's a dumb name, but hey, it's all subjective.

    ohhh fucking hell it sounds cool to me ........your all hipsters

    Interesting. Two rants about EA FPS games from Owen in the same day, while defending Modern Warfare both times... Am I sensing a pattern here?

    I honestly don't know why I still read Kotaku. Between the daily articles about racism, sexism, and stuff only the LGBT community would care about, and stuff like this, I'm seriously in the market for a new gaming news source. Any suggestions?

      Destructoid, for sure. Easily the best gaming site available, and the community is so cool too. All the editors really get in and chat with people too

        I have to agree - I also find their reviews are more reliable (though they are all confessed MW fans), probably because tgey won't accept anything from the publisher. Often they have to buy a copy of ghe game themselves.

      If it isn't from Serrels or Lien these days I rarely even bother clicking the link. Give me a filter, somebody :P

        Maybe Mark, but Tracey has been known to be pretty biased from time to time, when it suits her.

      So much whining! No one is forcing you to read Kotaku.

    What a shocker, Kotaku post an opinion piece and commenters feel the need to bitch about it

      This isn't an opinion piece so much as an inane bullshit piece.

        +1 - opinion pieces tend to focus on something that's you-know.. and issue

        The glut of modern military shooters (an extension from the 2000-2006 glut of WW2 shooters) is a good talk, online passes and their function, the lack of originality in games and why, why gamers (and as an extension people) feel so damn entitled to everything.

        4 topics, 3 minutes. Instead we get 'I don't like the name of their game'. It's an opinion sure, it's not journalism though.. maybe worthy of a tweet.

    I found the rant amusing, I was irrationally riled up too when I read the name. Of course I didn't compose a rant... :P

    nothing new Owen you idiot Warfighter was a rank in the multiplayer of the first game, you would know that if you reviewed it properly.

    Reading this article just makes me shake my head and ask "what is he trying to accomplish?" Owen Wilson doesn't like "Warfighter" as a word or title. Gosh and golly. I don't think it's terrible. OPINIONS.
    Wait shit, I don't think it's terrible, that's my opinion. Can I be a journalist now?

      Oh my god
      I called Owen Good Owen Wilson accidentally.

      But it's okay because I can't stand Owen Wilson

    I don't know about you guys but on saying it 3 times fast aloud, it became "Medal of Honour: Water Fight".

    Just the game for those hot summer months... that we are leaving behind.

      same

    You all know what the writer is getting at. I found it cathartic in a kind of guilty pleasure way and I'm sure many of the naysayers did too. It really is an amazingly generic name (appropriate given how bland MoH was). It's like EA are on some trashy name bender; see Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning.

    I think Mark Serrels is the only person on Kotaku who consistently writes interesting and worthwhile articles. Tracey too, sometimes.

    This rant seems really forced. It's using a generic military term as a subtitle so it doesn't have to resort to MOH2 type branding.

    I don't remember rants when someone else named a game "Black Ops"... at least this one is probably more accurate :-P

    The comments you made questioning how it will differ from Modern Warfare area little unnecessary IMO. The Medal of Honor franchise has already distinguished it's self from Call of Duty games in it's last title. I'm growing tired of remarks from writers seemingly wanting to egg on the age old debate of COD vs. every other modern FPS. Besides, the title often is a first point of contact from the game to it's audience. Titles barely even convey what the games are about anymore, it's simply to bring attention to it's self. Lets pass judgement on games when we actually see something more than a title from them.....

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