EA’s planning to release a pair of maps for their upcoming shooter based on real-world Tier 1 Operators featuring actual locations from the killing of terrorist leader Osama Bin Laden.
It’s a charity effort in the admirable support our nation’s veterans, so why do I feel a little uneasy about it?
Electronic Arts has teamed up with Sony for two maps based on the film from The Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow to benefit the charity Project HONOR. Bigelow’s film is the first of three movies coming out over the next year about the team that found and killed Bin Laden back in 2011. The map pack launches the week of the film’s December 19th release.
The movie has been under scrutiny since it was announced given what some critics decried at the time was seemingly extensive access to records and accounts of the events of the operation which critics of the President and his administration were quick to decry as politicizing a military victory (itself an exasperatingly hypocritical claim from team “Mission Accomplished”).
But besides that, I have a nagging uncertainty about the… I don’t know, moral correctness of creating maps based on a real-life manhunt particularly so close to the events. The operation along with the continued targeted killings of suspected terrorist leaders remains in some nebulous legal waters (the ones that say that the U.S. doesn’t assassinate people) and these maps celebrate that, to some extent.
Popular entertainment surrounding current military conflicts and real-world villains aren’t anything new, but usually they’re under the umbrella of fiction. This is ripped straight from the headlines and interactive to boot. EA wisely doesn’t have players doing something so ridiculous as working Bin Laden into the maps, but it does use two locations in Pakistan, the Darra Gun Market and Chitral, an important staging area for the Pakistani military.
So what do you think? Is this simply a noble celebration of an important military victory or something trickier in terms of our long prosecution of the increasingly nebulous War on Terror?
Medal of Honor Warfighter will be available on October 23rd for the 360, PS3, and PC. The Zero Dark Thirty map pack will be available the week of December 17th.
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