Kotaku has reported that GameStop stores based on US Army and Air Force bases will not stock the upcoming first-person shooter Medal of Honor because it allows players to assume the role of Taliban troops.
Reportedly, the ban applies to 49 US GameStop locations and also any other US military location globally. The move was requested by the Army and Air Force Exchange Services, and GameStop has obliged.
Kotaku has also obtained an email sent to GameStop employees about the decision. It reads: "GameStop has agreed out of respect for our past and present men and women in uniform we will not carry Medal of HOnor in any of our AAFES based stores."
"Customers who enter our AAFES stores and wish to reserve Medal of Honor can and should be directed to the nearest GameStop location off base.
This move follows a series of prominent politicians voicing their concern with the sale of the game. First came the denouncement from British Defence Secretary Liam Fox, who called on UK retailers to ban the game. This was followed shortly afterwards by our own Minister of Defence, Wayne Mapp, who claimed that Medal of Honor "undermines the values of our nation".
The game's publisher, EA, has defended its artistic vision and questioned why other artforms that tackle similar topics and settings are not subjected to the same scrutiny. "At EA we passionately believe games are an artform, and I don't know why films and books set in Afghanistan don't get flak, yet [games] do," said EA Games president Frank Gibeau. "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."