EA has recently pulled several items that were previously listed on their Medal Of Honor website in response to the nature those items. This is a reaction to the outrage of allowing “potentially dangerous weapons” from being purchased under the guise of charity. A example is the previously listed Voodoo tomahawk from SOG which looks pretty scary on the receiving end but I can say the same for other video game replicas such as the Lich King’s Frostmourne or Sephiroth’s Masamune. Prior to EA’s response, you could also purchase a real McMillan Tac-300 to your specs and have it shipped to a local federal licensed gun dealer for pickup. Many other authentic merchandise have been listed through EA’s partners on the Medal Of Honor website and proceeds will go to charity through their Project Honor program which includes the Navy Seal Foundation as well as the Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Despite the motivation behind the listings, EA has since then unlisted the advertisements for those items on their website despite still being available on their partner’s websites. In reaction to the criticism that has occurred, the executive producer for Medal Of Honor: Warfighter, Greg Goodrich, defended the Project Honor charity by pointing out:
“That was an effort to raise a lot of money for charity, and we were well on our way to raising a lot of money with that tomahawk, but I don’t know what will happen with that now…That whole effort, we’ve been working with those partners because we wanted to be authentic, and we wanted to give back to the communities. Every one of those partners, none of them paid a dime for product placement – all the money generated went to Project Honor.”
He also described that a video game is merely an experience, not a teaching tool. Goodrich specified that:
“If I played Need for Speed, and I’m handed the key to a Porsche, does that make me want to get in it and drive like a maniac and run people over? No.”
In regards to Medal Of Honor: Warfighter, Goodrich commented:
“In a first-person shooter we’re not teaching someone how to shoot better or be a better operator just by playing a game. It doesn’t compute, just like when I play John Madden football I can’t expect to win the Super Bowl just because I played a video game.”
With that said, I don’t believe there is a problem with EA advertising their partners for the sake of the men and women who give us the opportunity to voice our opinions. I don’t think there is any distinctive difference between something like the Voodoo tomahawk and other video game replicas like Frostmourne or Masamune other than the fact that the tomahawk is an authentic piece of equipment used by operators all over the world. While it could be said that EA should have gone the route of donating part of the profits made by the game to the charity, EA as a company has to make a profit to sustain itself. By promoting the goods used by our armed forces, it means much more than just a handing of a check and a pat on the back.
If there was any concern about items such as these falling into the hands of wrong doers and criminals, why should the people who are responsible have to suffer? In the entirety of this, I have yet to see anyone stating other than EA to take responsibility. To be perfectly honest, parents have to and need to take the ultimate responsibility because they need to be able to make sure that their child knows between right and wrong, and to make a distinction between real life and video games. If everyone who is a parent did this, I’m sure we wouldn’t have these kinds of problems in the video game industry or those that appear on the headlines.
What do you think about it all?