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DID YOU READ

“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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Hacked In

Funny or Die Is Taking Over

FOD TV comes to IFC every Saturday night.

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We’ve been fans of Funny or Die since we first met The Landlord. That enduring love makes it more than logical, then, that IFC is totally cool with FOD hijacking the airwaves every Saturday night. Yes, that’s happening.

The appropriately titled FOD TV looks like something pulled from public access television in the nineties. Like lo-fi broken-antenna reception and warped VHS tapes. Equal parts WTF and UHF.

Get ready for characters including The Shirtless Painter, Long-Haired Businessmen, and Pigeon Man. They’re aptly named, but for a better sense of what’s in store, here’s a taste of ASMR with Kelly Whispers:

Watch FOD TV every Saturday night during IFC’s regularly scheduled movies.

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Wicked Good

See More Evil

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is on Hulu.

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Okay, so you missed the entire first season of Stan Against Evil. There’s no shame in that, per se. But here’s the thing: Season 2 is just around the corner and you don’t want to lag behind. After all, Season 1 had some critical character development, not to mention countless plot twists, and a breathless finale cliffhanger that’s been begging for resolution since last fall. It also had this:

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The good news is that you can catch up right now on Hulu. Phew. But if you aren’t streaming yet, here’s a basic primer…

Willards Mill Is Evil

Stan spent his whole career as sheriff oblivious to the fact that his town has a nasty curse. Mostly because his recently-deceased wife was secretly killing demons and keeping Stan alive.

Demons Really Want To Kill Stan

The curse on Willards Mill stipulates that damned souls must hunt and kill each and every town sheriff, or “constable.” Oh, and these demons are shockingly creative.

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They Also Want To Kill Evie

Why? Because Evie’s a sheriff too, and the curse on Willard’s Mill doesn’t have a “one at a time” clause. Bummer, Evie.

Stan and Evie Must Work Together

Beating the curse will take two, baby, but that’s easier said than done because Stan doesn’t always seem to give a damn. Damn!

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Beware of Goats

It goes without saying for anyone who’s seen the show: If you know that ancient evil wants to kill you, be wary of anything that has cloven feet.

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Season 2 Is Lurking

Scary new things are slouching towards Willards Mill. An impending darkness descending on Stan, Evie and their cohort – eviler evil, more demony demons, and whatnot. And if Stan wants to survive, he’ll have to get even Stanlier.

Stan Against Evil Season 1 is now streaming right now on Hulu.

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SO EXCITED!!!

Reminders that the ’90s were a thing

"The Place We Live" is available for a Jessie Spano-level binge on Comedy Crib.

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Unless you stopped paying attention to the world at large in 1989, you are of course aware that the ’90s are having their pop cultural second coming. Nobody is more acutely aware of this than Dara Katz and Betsy Kenney, two comedians who met doing improv comedy and have just made their Comedy Crib debut with the hilarious ’90s TV throwback series, The Place We Live.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Dara: It’s everything you loved–or loved to hate—from Melrose Place and 90210 but condensed to five minutes, funny (on purpose) and totally absurd.

IFC: How would you describe “The Place We Live” to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Betsy: “Hey Todd, why don’t you have a sip of water. Also, I think you’ll love The Place We Live because everyone has issues…just like you, Todd.”

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IFC: When you were living through the ’90s, did you think it was television’s golden age or the pop culture apocalypse?


Betsy: I wasn’t sure I knew what it was, I just knew I loved it!


Dara: Same. Was just happy that my parents let me watch. But looking back, the ’90s honored The Teen. And for that, it’s the golden age of pop culture. 

IFC: Which ’90s shows did you mine for the series, and why?

Betsy: Melrose and 90210 for the most part. If you watch an episode of either of those shows you’ll see they’re a comedic gold mine. In one single episode, they cover serious crimes, drug problems, sex and working in a law firm and/or gallery, all while being young, hot and skinny.


Dara: And almost any series we were watching in the ’90s, Full House, Saved By the Bell, My So Called Life has very similar themes, archetypes and really stupid-intense drama. We took from a lot of places. 

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IFC: How would you describe each of the show’s characters in terms of their ’90s TV stereotype?

Dara: Autumn (Sunita Mani) is the femme fatale. Robin (Dara Katz) is the book worm (because she wears glasses). Candace (Betsy Kenney) is Corey’s twin and gives great advice and has really great hair. Corey (Casey Jost) is the boy next door/popular guy. Candace and Corey’s parents decided to live in a car so the gang can live in their house. 
Lee (Jonathan Braylock) is the jock.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Dara: Because everyone’s feeling major ’90s nostalgia right now, and this is that, on steroids while also being a totally new, silly thing.

Delight in the whole season of The Place We Live right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib. It’ll take you back in all the right ways.