Capitalising on Death: Electronic Arts Shames November 11th

[Capitalising on Death: Electronic Arts Shames November 11th]

The 11th has become a day forgotten. By this I mean November 11th, not the overyped, over symbolized, flag-waving September 11th (which deserves its own mourning, not opportunism). In the repositioning of November 11th, the current ethos of war-mongering does not tide well even with the nationalist purview of what was, originally, Armistice Day. That November 11th, Remembrance Day, should be a day of memory and mourning, a day to mourn not only those fallen, injured, scarred, but the continual follies of humanity--a day to reflect upon our violence, and to struggle for peace, in ways non-violent--has hereby been bought & sold, economized, its price measured by corporates and governments alike. It has a virtual price, a mimetic price. Its new collective memory is playable, winnable, and in the process, gives a purity of heroism to the new protagonist of a self-centred history: the gamer. Yes, November 11th is also the perfect day to celebrate VIRTUAL COMBAT!

Electronic gaming powerhouse Electronic Arts (EA) saw it fit to push its latest,neo-combat wargame--Medal of Honor Rising Sun--into the hands of teenagers, children and geeks everywhere this November 11th. Primarily the issue isn't even the connection between virtual fantasies of violence and their sporadic, real-time reenactments (Columbine or otherwise, this connection being somewhat melodramatic yet sterile). The tragedy is that November 11th has become a product of consumption and an opportunity to market violent production, a memory tag or meme that only signals 'something about war' to the greater (North) American public. A signal not of memory that is unforgettable, regrettable, beyond comprehension or of humanity's darkest hours, but of a shining, glorified past for our purchasing, for our sector, this market of war. The intense lack of understanding, compassion, feeling and perspective North American generations (and their collective memory) have of the horrors of war, horrors which are not to be commercialised or capitalised upon, ensures its eternal repeatability. (Whither the veterans? Whither a repressed Vietnam?) One less melancholic would witness EA's release, in the words of Marx, as farce (to recall the saying: "History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.").

Shame. Shame on Electronic Arts.

Along with Medal of Honor Rising Sun, which appears to perform a competent task in trivialising the complexities of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, rewriting history to capitalise on a plot that obscures atrocity to heroism, EA emphasises the game's 'Powerful Realities of War' in a press releases to its purchasers of the James Bond series:

The Powerful Realities of War
Ģ Over 20 authentic WWII weapons.
Ģ THX Certified sound design.

We all have to thank that THX certifies the sounds of war. THX--forever associated with bloodshed, screaming, rape, murder, mutilation, and all the numbing sounds of realistic slaughter (and where and how exactly did they compare and research this realism? Do THX sound designers get sent to the world's battlefields with microphones?). And, of course, there are over 20 'authentic WWII weapons'. Bonus--almost not-real killing, here to show your Grandpa on November 11th. But enough polemics. Nothing more needs to be said. Here is the press release:

EA Ships Medal of Honor Rising Sun on Multiple Consoles; Step into the Boots of a WWII Soldier to Survive and Avenge the Attack on Pearl Harbor

11 November 2003, 09:03am ET
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 11, 2003--Step into the boots of a Marine Corporal, survive the infamous attack on Pearl Harbor and engage in a life and death struggle to drive the Japanese Army from the Pacific as Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) has begun shipping Medal of Honor(TM) Rising Sun to retailers nationwide under the EA GAMES(TM) brand. The fourth console installment of the award-winning series, Medal of Honor Rising Sun is an immersive and authentic WWII experience in either single-player or multiplayer mode and is available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system, the Xbox(TM) video game system from Microsoft, and the Nintendo GameCube(TM).

Set in the Pacific Theatre of Operations from 1941-1944, Medal of Honor Rising Sun gives players the chance to experience the courage and sacrifice of those who accepted the challenge to combat Japanese Imperial forces in some of the most brutal campaigns of WWII. Players will assume the role of Marine Corporal Joseph Griffin as he survives the attack on Pearl Harbor, then joins the battle against the Japanese in the Philippines, Guadalcanal, Singapore, and Burma. Armed with a variety of authentic weapons and joined in battle by an array of historical and fictional characters including squads of allied soldiers, it's up to players to stop the Japanese war machine in its tracks. Players can also team up with a friend in the all-new co-op multiplayer mode or battle in 4-player splitscreen mode on all consoles. Along the way, players will earn awards and medals for their meritorious service in defeating the enemy.

In a first for the Medal of Honor(TM) franchise, PlayStation 2 console gamers can join intense online multiplayer action for up to eight players. Players will go head to head across nine levels ranging from the jungles of the Pacific to the streets of the Orient. Players can find and join games using the EA matchmaking service and will be able to choose from a selection of Axis and Allied soldiers. Once play begins, soldiers can communicate with voice chat using a USB headset for more coordinated team play or taunting competitors. (USB headset and broadband connection required). An Internet connection, network adaptor, and memory card for the PlayStation 2 console are required for online play.

Medal of Honor Rising Sun was developed by EA Los Angeles. As with the previous Medal of Honor titles, the producers sought counsel from numerous outside expert sources to make certain the game is as historically authentic and realistic as possible. EALA continues to work closely with the Congressional Medal of Honor Society to ensure Medal of Honor Rising Sun reflects the ideals and integrity of the prestigious Medal of Honor. In addition, Capt. Dale Dye, who served as military technical advisor on the previous titles in the Medal of Honor franchise, continues his efforts with the Medal of Honor Rising Sun team to ensure the authenticity of the game.

Medal of Honor Rising Sun is rated "T" (Teen) by the ESRB and has a US MSRP of $49.99. The official Medal of Honor game website is .

About Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts, headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of $2.5 billion for fiscal 2003. The company develops, publishes, and distributes interactive software worldwide for video game systems, personal computers and the Internet. Electronic Arts markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS(TM), EA GAMES(TM), and EA SPORTS BIG(TM). EA's homepage and online game site is . More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at .

Electronic Arts, EA, EA SPORTS, EA SPORTS BIG, and EA GAMES are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. Medal of Honor is a trademark or registered trademark of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries for computer and video game products. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

Tim McDowd, 650-628-7577

Jeane Wong, 650-628-7702 (Director of PR)

SOURCE: Electronic Arts

posted. Tue - November 11, 2003 @ 08:08 PM           |