A video game that allows players to adopt the role of the Taliban is a "tasteless product," Britain's defense secretary said Sunday, calling on retailers to show their support for troops by not selling it.
Liam Fox said he was "disgusted and angry" by "Medal of Honor," produced by California-based Electronic Arts Inc.
"At the hands of the Taliban, children have lost fathers and wives have lost husbands. It's shocking that someone would think it acceptable to recreate the acts of the Taliban against British soldiers," he said in a statement. "It's hard to believe any citizen of our country would wish to buy such a thoroughly un-British game. I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces and ban this tasteless product."
The company did not immediately respond to e-mails from the Associated Press, but spokeswoman Amanda Taggart was quoted by the Sunday Times as saying the game's format "merely reflects the fact that every conflict has two sides."
"We give gamers the opportunity to play both sides. Most of us have been doing this since we were seven: someone plays cop, someone must be robber," the newspaper quoted her as saying. "In Medal of Honor multiplayer, someone's got to be the Taliban. Nobody who plays video games is going to be shocked or surprised by this."
Other versions of "Medal of Honor" have been set in the World War II era. The new version is scheduled to be released in October.