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“Medal of Honor” To Be Pulled from U.S. Military Bases

“Medal of Honor” To Be Pulled from U.S. Military Bases (photo)

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The controversy surrounding one of the biggest games coming out this fall will see it removed from all stores located on Army and Air Force bases. “Medal of Honor” revives EA’s wartime first-person shooter series, moving the focus from World War II to the present-day for the first time. The new game’s set in Afghanistan, during the military actions there shortly after 9/11. The flashpoint in the new “MOH” comes from the competitive multiplayer modes where players will control Taliban fighters.

While it’s been a staple of shooter games to have their respective bad guys be playable in faction-based combat, nothing’s rubbed up against contemporary political sore spots in quite the way that “MOH” does. The Taliban have proven to be a difficult enemy to engage, both ideologically and strategically and the war in Afghanistan is still a conflict that’s being fought, exacting a grim toll from the coalition forces. British Secretary of State for Defence Liam Fox called the game “tasteless,” alleging that players would be killing British soldiers. And, more recently, the controversy around its inclusion of playable Taliban forces had made “Medal of Honor” contraband on the military-run PX stores. These stores serve only military personnel, retired servicemen or the immediate family of both. In addition to the PX ban, the branches of the GameStop retail chain located on military bases will also refrain from selling “Medal of Honor.” From Kotaku:

“Out of respect to those we serve, we will not be stocking this game,” the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s Commander Maj. Gen. Bruce Casella, told Kotaku. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorized shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life and death scenarios this product presents as entertainment. As a military command with a retail mission, we serve a very unique customer base that has, or possibly will, witness combat in real life.”

EA’s response to the controversy has been varied. In comments to PSM3 Magazine, Patrick Liu from the EA DICE development studio has said the following:

“I think it is a fair point… We do stir up some feelings, although it’s not about the war, it’s about the soldiers… We can’t get away from what the setting is and who the factions are, but in the end, it’s a game, so we’re not pushing or provoking too hard.”

EA Games president Frank Gibeau offered a different reaction to Develop Magazine:

“At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don’t know why films and books set in Afghanistan don’t get flack, 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. Games are becoming that platform.”

Granted they’re two separate individuals in a giant corporation, but it’s hard to make Gibeau and Liu’s quotes line up. Liu’s answer is essentially the “It’s just a game” argument, which is never good when discussion about video games happens. That diminishing retort automatically places the medium on a lower rung than movies, books or music. Gibeau’s “games as artform” thesis has stronger legs, but the potential problem there is whether “Medal of Honor” will actually be any good. The ultimate arbiter of its quality, of course, will be the players who dive into the game. “Medal of Honor” comes out on October 12th.

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.



Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.

via GIPHY

Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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