Liam Fox is the U.K.'s Defense Secretary and he hates video games. Okay, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but Fox definitely doesn't like EA's Medal of Honor. The new update to the popular series has been causing a bit of a stir, mainly because of its multi-player which allows a player to take control of Taliban forces if they choose.
We've reported on some of the reaction that veterans have had to this option in the game, but this is the first time that a major political figure has come out against it. Fox stated that he's disgusted with the game and hopes that U.K. stores will ban the game when it releases later this year.
"I am disgusted and angry. It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product."
He goes on to reference a specific multiplayer map set in the Helmland province, where U.K. military forces are currently based. Fox makes the argument that if gamers are playing as the Taliban in an area where U.K. soldiers are stationed, then players are specifically killing British soldiers.
EA isn't letting Fox take all the shots though, a spokeswoman for the developer released a statement defending the option:
"The format of the new Medal of Honor game merely reflects the fact that every conflict has two sides. We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of us have been doing this since we were seven: someone plays the cop, someone must be robber. In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone's got to be the Taliban."
Whether or not you agree with the politics, there is an issue at the heart of it all. Since Call of Duty: Modern Warfare was released, first person shooters set in modern times have risen to the top of the sales charts and to the forefront of controversy. With major political players throwing their hats into the debate, this issue isn't going to go away soon.
What do you guys think? Gamers have been fighting the rap of games as "murder simulators" or sparks for aggression for a while, now this? Do you think that it's a problem that EA has included the option to play as the Taliban? Let us know in the comments.
You'll be able to vote with your wallet when Medal of Honor releases for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 October 12th.