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“What kind of message is a video game publisher like EA sending when it encourages its players to buy weapons?” What kind of message indeed. EA, publisher of the wildly popular Medal of Honor games, has added links on its website to the real-life makers of some of the guns and gear depicted in Medal of Honor: Warfighter. And some people – like associate editor Laura Parker – think this breaches a “moral boundary.” Other people simply call it cross-promotion . . .

Parker, however, is shocked, shocked to find that marketing is going on here:

More startling than EA linking its players to sites where they can buy real-life weapons to match the ones used in its game is the decision by Medal of Honor executive producer Greg Goodrich to write accompanying blog posts for each of the companies (there are currently 11 listed, three of which manufacture guns or knives) in which he seems to wholeheartedly endorse their products.

Downright scary products such as the McMillan CS5 rifle and gear like a SOG Voodoo Hawk axe. Startling.

Promoting weapons (not just promoting, but being excited at the very idea that a Medal of Honor: Warfighter player can use a virtual weapon to kill another player as a form of entertainment and then turn around and order the real version of the same weapon online), feels wrong. It feels wrong even with the understanding and acknowledgement that that there are carefully-enforced restrictions and background checks in place, or that it would be just as easy to seek out and buy these weapons without EA’s help.

And the vapors experience by Parker and others over the situation seems to have made EA re-think their product cross promotion strategy. At least a little. An update to Parker’s article indicates EA has since taken the links to their partners’ products down. They have left the partner page up, though. Surely Medal of Honor gamers could never locate these sites – let alone the products – on their own. EA issued this statement from Goodrich:

After listening to feedback from the community and reviewing our program for supporting veterans, we have withdrawn the Tomahawk from the promotion and removed related URL links on our website. We continue to work with gear manufacturers to provide an authentic videogame experience and to support veteran’s organizations. Medal of Honor is committed to delivering an emotional, authentic depiction of the today’s war and today’s soldiers. It is inspired by real people, real places and real operations. The game is M-Rated and a work of historic fiction. Though a work of entertainment, the themes, scenarios and battles are a sensitive subject and may stir conversation among press and players.

We know we feel better now. You?

[h/t Sam]

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  1. Most of those are weapons ACCESORIES sites, not weapons manufacturers.

    “Here’s were you can buy all the bells and whistles to hang on your non-existant weapons”

    Good for EA.

    • “Here’s were you can buy all the bells and whistles to hang on your non-existant weapons”

      ITYM “Airsoft toys”.

  2. Has this person never heard of product placement? How many cans of soda and automobile company logos been inserted into a scene for a fee? I’ll know that we’ve won the culture war when firearms aren’t seen as something icky that some fools think shouldn’t be discussed in public.

  3. I don’t see what the big deal is, Infinity Ward has the money to get the licence of the weapons they use and slap a giant logo on the gun or product. Look at any of the Remington weapons that are in the game (RSASS, MSR, ACR). Not only that but games have been doing that for years but because this is a game about war, it’s no longer okay. Take a look at Forza, they feature all of the real life car manufacturers (except for the Halo Warthog) and real life companies that produce third-party products and accessories.

    • +1

      Video game companies, like movie companies, learned a long time ago that cross-marketing products from other companies is an easy way to both generate revenue and increase awareness of the brand. You have it sports game like NBA2k series (where players get Jordan brand shoes), skateboarding games like Tony Hawk, etc.

      I can understand people’s concerns that MEDAL OF HONOR features equipment / firearm accessories from real-life manufacturers, but as an M-rated game, the real question is this: why do so many parents not pay attention to the things their kids are into and let kids who are too young play these kinds of games?

      Parents need to be ummm… PARENTS, and make sure their children have age appropriate entertainment.

      • Exactly, parents need to read the freaking ratings. I seen it one too many times where I go to the store to buy a game and some kid has all these m-rated games they want and the parents don’t even bother reading the ratings on the back. I remember this one time where some kid wanted GTA4, Gears of War 2, and God of War 2 and he got the them thanks in part to a tantrum he threw as well as the dad ignoring the warnings from the cashier. Maybe they should make the ratings larger, or put them in an area where you need to show id to enter, kinda like the 18+ area in anime stores.

  4. Reason number 1,457 why I don’t frequent gamespot for gaming-related information.

    “It feels wrong even with the understanding and acknowledgement that that there are carefully-enforced restrictions and background checks in place, or that it would be just as easy to seek out and buy these weapons without EA’s help.”

    Hey, give Parker credit, at least we finally have a gun-grabber that wholly acknowledges that their stance is completely devoid of logic and rationality in favor of childish emotion. Now, the next step is for them to acknowledge how stupid it is.

  5. Congratulations, you pulled it off your website. Now your users must spend eight seconds on google TYPING THE FIREARMS NAME FROM IN GAME WEAPON NAME. All this serves to do is hide the fact that the firearm manufacturer and the game producers worked together to create an immersive experience.

    • I see part of the problem plain as day in that email address… do you see it? three letters… placed close to each other and jammed up against the word interactive…. MSM OWNS gamespot, so any MSM subsidiary will always have the potential to be called upon to write something that aligns with the views of the parent company, or bends the truth the way the parent MSM company wants it bent.

      Since she’s working for a game site, she can’t blast the game itself, because both her site and CBS are making money off just talking about games…. but they sure can sneak some FUD, if need be, when it crosses over into real tangible products they want to demonize.

  6. “associate editor Laura Parker – think this breaches a “moral boundary.””


    It’s the evolution of advertising in the modern online world. The game itself is what sets the emotions going. The gamers can find and buy real weapons if they choose. Your self-righteous ‘moral-boundry’ cry carries as much common sense as university signs that declare the place ‘a gun free zone’. Your cry is also a cheap public relations trick to protect the gaming industry should a gamer later decide to commit violence in real life. Now get back to the kitchen, where you belong, and make us men sandwiches.

    “When we pick up one end of a stick we must accept the reality that the other end moves too”.
    — Paraphrasing the late Stephen Covey

  7. Good thing something like this wasn’t in Postal 2 .. that game would be so controversial right now if brought back to public attention. I still have my copy autographed by Gary Coleman may he RIP.

  8. I wrote a lengthy comment on this article at gamespot. The issue i have with gaming editors trying to take a moral high ground is because they sell and endorse products where you kill digital people with digital weapons. Its hypocrisy at its finest.

    if they were that morally disgusted with firearms then they wouldnt be endorsing these games, plain and simple.

    I guess its easier to by a hypocrite and blame inanimate objects than it is to actually blame the person for conducting the tragedy.

  9. So when are they gunna get over the meme of violent video games/movies causing violence. I played doom when I was six. I’m 21 I’ve been playing them my whole life. Medal of honor got me intrested in history and my personal library is packed full of books on history. Call of duty got me to buy my vote M&P 15-22

  10. I know folks who work at E.A and I don’t think this is their opinion. CBS put the screws to them which sucks. Also most of the weapons used would be class III so good luck getting one even if you had the cash.

    • its not, its the opinion of a associate editor named Laura Parker, who is a AUSTRALIAN LOL.

      I believe video games are another form of art, though some of the opinions of gamers i know forces me into a position to not take them seriously about anything.

      Anybody who preaches the ills of firearms and the evil gun conglomerates and plays a video game where you beat hookers to death, torture prisoners, assassinate with impunity, and impale and shred human beings into pieces is a fucking hypocrite. my advice: have a glass of STFU and GTFO back to your “reality”: your video game 😀 because you have no credibility or testicular fortitude whatsoever to join the grownups at the target range.


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