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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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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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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