Despite change, AAFES still won't sell controversial video game
October 5, 2010
The Army and Air Force Exchange Service still will not sell the latest “Medal of Honor” video game, which allows players to kill U.S. troops.
AAFES originally decided not to sell the game because it allowed people to play as the Taliban, but the company that makes the game recently changed the multiplayer option name from “Taliban” to “Opposing Force.”
But that wasn’t enough for AAFES.
“Out of respect to those touched by the ongoing, real-life events presented as a game, exchanges will not be carrying this product,” AAFES commander Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella said in a news release Tuesday night.
"We respect AAFES' authority to decide what's best for their customers," Amanda Taggart, a spokeswoman for Electronic Arts Inc., said in a statement Tuesday. "EA has not asked for, and does not expect, a change in the Defense Department's decision to restrict the availability of Medal of Honor on bases."
Last week, the company issued a statement saying it had made the change to the video game after hearing concerns from friends and families of fallen servicemembers.
“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,” game executive producer Greg Goodrich said in the statement.
Karen Meredith, whose son Lt. Ken Ballard was killed in Iraq on May 30, 2004, has been a vocal critic of allowing people to assume the role of the Taliban in the video game. She praised AAFES on Tuesday for sticking with its decision not to sell the game in stores or online.
“I appreciate that AFFES understands the market that they’re dealing with: Military families who face life and death every day,” she said after Tuesday's announcement by AAFES.