Video Game Renamed Amidst Controversy; Developer Defiant

Dennis Faas's picture

The company behind the upcoming Medal of Honor video game has renamed an option which previously let gamers play as the Taliban. Danger Close Games says the renaming of the game is controversial and is the result of older people not understanding current trends in gaming.

Video Game Medal of Honor Popular Amongst Gamers

The main gameplay of Medal of Honor involves playing as a United States soldier fighting in Afghanistan. However, the multiplayer option, in which players form two teams to compete with one another, had one set of players controlling Taliban characters.

The developers said at the time that this was an inherent part of gameplay and no different to children playing both cops and robbers. As a result of the controversy, the retail chain GameStop announced it would not be stocking the game in any of its stores in Army and Air Force bases.

Enemy Names Rebranded

The developers have now altered the game so that the non-US team is referred to as "Opposing Force" or "Opfor", a term used by the US Army. Aside from that, the game itself remains unchanged.

Danger Close's marketing director Craig Owens told gaming site that the move wasn't related to the GameStop policy (which remains in place). He says it was simply a reaction to the wider controversy, arguing that the original version of the game made it easy for critics to unfairly pigeon-hole the issue as one where gamers "play as the Taliban and kill US soldiers." (Source:

Gamers Getting Older, More Mature

According to Owens, such controversies will eventually become rarer as the population ages, exposing a greater number of people to these kinds of games. He says the industry today remains at a point "where people who don't play games still think they're just for 12-year-olds and they're just all fun and games and they could never really tell a story like a movie does." (Source:

Although the changes to the game simply involve the replacement of one word, one campaigner is claiming it as a major victory. Jack Thompson, who brought numerous lawsuits against video game producers until being permanently disbarred, said of the change: "I win again, as usual. Any gamers who don't think so and who don't appreciate what I do to protect our culture can go to Hell." (Source:

Rate this article: 
No votes yet