GameStop Blocks Medal of Honor from U.S. Bases
GameStop stores on base at Army & Air Force Exchange Service installations across the world will no longer advertise and will not stock copies of the upcoming first-person shooter Medal of Honor, which includes a multiplayer mode that allows players to take on U.S. soldiers as members of the Taliban.
When asked if the U.S. military requested this action, AAFES spokesperson Judd Anstey said, "No, sir." This decision, Anstey said, comes from the AAFES. "No one requested it. It was a determination made by this entity, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service."
The person ultimately responsible for the decision is Major General Bruce Casella, the commander of the Army & Air Force Exchange Service, who said in a statement that "out of respect to those we serve, we will not be stocking this game. We regret any inconvenience this may cause authorized shoppers, but are optimistic that they will understand the sensitivity to the life and death scenarios this product presents as entertainment. As a military command with a retail mission, we serve a very unique customer base that has, or possibly will, witness combat in real life."
Preorders from a GameStop at an AAFES will be transferred to the nearest off-base GameStop location. The situation grows a little less clear when it comes to used copies of Medal of Honor once a soldier wants to trade in the game at a GameStop on an AAFES installation.
"Since the game's not been release yet, we're still working through those details," Anstey says. "Certainly, this is exclusive to the newest incarnation of the game."
We also contacted GameStop and Medal of Honor publisher EA for comment.
Anstey says that the AAEFS is part of the Department of Defense but that it doesn't receive tax dollars -- revenue comes from sales at its exchanges.
The game also drew criticism from the British Secretary of State for Defense, who urged a wholesale ban on the latest edition.
This isn't the first time questionable material has been made unavailable on military bases. In 1996, Congress passed the Military Honor and Decency Act, which bars the sale of "sexually explicit material." It was challenged on First Amendment grounds, and the U.S. appeals court upheld the law in 2002.