Brent Bozell

An EA spokesman stressed that the game was intended to celebrate American soldiers. But with the popularity of online multi-player showdowns (where one guy in Virginia can play against another guy in Idaho), game makers have increasingly offered users the options of embracing the role of bad guy. EA's last version of the game, set in World War II, allowed players to fight against the Allied forces.

As tasteless as that is, it's history. Right now, American boys are dying every day. They deserve this nation's highest respect, not this final insult.

The amorality of these professional war-gamers can be astonishing. Last year, hundreds of parents protested Activision's game "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2" for a scene in which players could take part in a terrorist group's machine-gun massacre of civilians at a Russian airport. The player acts as a special-ops agent infiltrating the terrorist cell that can either choose to join in the civilian shooting to remain "credible," or refrain from the bloodbath.

EA's Frank Gibeau complained to the media that video games are unfairly singled out: "At EA we passionately believe games are an art form, and I don't know why films and books set in Afghanistan don't get flak, 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."

Here we go again, the scoundrel's final defense: It's "art." Video games are amazing technological products, but they are not "stories" like a book or a movie. Parents don't worry about their kids reading Taliban books. I don't know of any movies where the Taliban are the heroes. It's only video games where children enter an imaginary (but most realistic and therefore dangerous) world in which they are the main characters.

In a video game, every player is the author and the movie director. The game maker only sets the parameters and lets the player finish the story. In this case, EA has created a plot in which children can be absorbed for hours in the virtual reality of killing American solders, the best and most honorable product our nation has to offer. The idea that game makers just can't comprehend why this would be singled out for condemnation is ludicrous. They know exactly what they're doing as the 30 pieces of silver jingle in their pockets.


Brent Bozell

Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
 
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