The video game Medal of Honor (MoH) has gone on sale despite calls by the UK defence secretary to ban it.
The game follows the exploits of Special Forces troops battling insurgents in Afghanistan in 2002.
In August, Defence
Secretary Dr Liam Fox called for the game to be banned after it emerged that users could fight as The Taliban.
Its developer EA said the game was meant to be realistic, but eventually renamed The Taliban The Opposition .
described the game as un-British and said it was shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers .
The Canadian and Danish Defence Ministers also criticised the game.
EA weathered the storm for a few weeks, but in early October the firm bowed to pressure and took the term Taliban out of the multiplayer option. Despite the change, the game is still banned from sale on military bases, although troops can
purchase it elsewhere and play it on station.
The game itself has received mostly positive reviews, scoring an average of 75% according to the review aggregator site Metacritic. Computer and Video Games Magazine described it as an accomplished,
confident online shooter .
Games producer EA has decided to drop the Taliban name from Medal of Honor in the face of political pressure and requests from the friends and families of fallen soldiers.
The in-game enemy previously known as Taliban will now be called
the Opposing Force.
Executive producer Greg Goodrich said:
In the past few months, we have received feedback from all over the world regarding the multiplayer portion of Medal of Honor
The majority of this feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. However, we have also received feedback from friends and families of fallen soldiers who have expressed concern over the inclusion of the Taliban in the multiplayer
portion of our game. This is a very important voice to the Medal of Honor team. 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 in Medal of Honor multiplayer from Taliban to Opposing Force.
While this change should not directly affect gamers,
as it does not fundamentally alter the gameplay, we are making this change for the men and women serving in the military and for the families of those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice - this franchise will never willfully disrespect, intentionally or
otherwise, your memory and service.
U.S. military base exchanges have decided to not carry the controversial Medal of Honor video game.
I'm thrilled, said Karen Meredith, whose son, Lt. Ken Ballard, perished in 2004. She has set off a storm of protest against
Redwood City-based Electronic Arts and its first-person shooter game, which allows players to pretend they're Taliban fighters killing American soldiers in Afghanistan. She applauded Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, commander of the Army and Air Force
Exchange Service for the decision to keep the game out of its stores worldwide.
I've heard from people all over the world, many of them upset about this game, so at least this has started a conversation, she said. And this country needs
to have a conversation about the place of violent video games in our society, especially a game based on an ongoing war.
Due out Oct. 12, Medal of Honor has drawn accolades from gamers and has been defended even by some U.S. soldiers.