Buckling to pressure from the media and military families, Electronic Arts stripped the Taliban moniker away from characters in its upcoming war game Medal of Honor.
EA drew fire when talking heads got word that the game would allow players to take part as Taliban forces in online play. CNN reports that the class of fighters formerly known as Taliban will now be called “Opposing Force.”
The game publisher released this statement, noting that requests from families of fallen soldiers sparked the move:
“This is a voice that has earned the right to be listened to. It is a voice that we care deeply about. Because of this, and because the heartbeat of ‘Medal of Honor’ has always resided in the reverence for American and Allied soldiers, we have decided to rename the opposing team.”
The change doesn’t fundamentally alter the fact that gamers will still control members of the terrorist-friendly fighters. The renaming reminds me of when Tecmo Bowl had to work around a player’s union issue by calling the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback “QB EAGLES” even though it was obvious that the lightning-fast signal caller was Randall Cunningham. For those of you too young to remember who Cunningham was, imagine the exact opposite of Kevin Kolb.