UPDATE: We just received the following from the Army & Air Force Exchange Service –
Well-documented reports of depictions of Taliban fighters engaging American troops have resulted in a decision to not offer the newest Medal of Honor, the video game from Electronic Arts, through Army and Air Force Exchanges.
“Out of respect to those we serve, we will not be stocking this game,” said the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Commander Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorized 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 Army and Air Force Exchange operations worldwide, including its website and 49 on-base/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.
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If you live on a military base and really want to buy the new Electronic Arts military shoot-em-up Medal of Honor, which has stirred up controversy by allowing players to play as Taliban members, you’re going to be out of luck shopping at the GameStop on the base.
According to our game-loving former stepbrother Kotaku, as of noon today all GameStop stores located on military bases will no longer be advertising or selling copies of Medal of Honor.
Kotaku obtained a copy of a message sent to all GameStop employees about the decision:
GameStop has agreed out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform we will not carry Medal of Honor in any of our AAFES based stores… As such, GameStop agreed to have all marketing material pulled by noon today and to stop taking reservations. Customers who enter our AAFES stores and wish to reserve Medal of Honor can and should be directed to the nearest GameStop location off base.
GameStop fully supports AAFES in this endeavor and is sensitive to the fact that in multiplayer mode one side will assume the role of Taliban fighter.
EA Games president Frank Gibeau has previously come out in defense of the game, saying that video games are judged unfairly when compared to other creative endeavors:
At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, yet [games] do. Whether it’s Red Badge Of Courage or The Hurt Locker, the media of its time can be a platform for the people who wish to tell their stories. Games are becoming that platform.
What do you think: Did GameStop make the right move? Does EA have a point? You make the call…