McInnis comes out against video game

Former Congressman Scott McInnis chose an odd way to step back into the limelight this week. He and a United States Air Force general wrote a letter to the Colorado Retail Council asking that organization to ask its members not to sell the new Medal of Honor video game, due out Oct. 12.

“I’m not doing this to get back in the arena,”McInnis told The Colorado Independent. Once you’re in the arena, you’re always in the arena.”


In the game, set in Afghanistan, players can choose to play as Taliban soldiers who kill U.S. soldiers.

The letter:

September 30, 2010

Mr. Christopher Howes
President
Colorado Retailers Association
1580 Lincoln Avenue
Denver, Colorado

Dear Christopher,

In recent weeks Electronic Arts, a-for profit video game developer, announced the latest version of their Medal of Honor video game. The game is set in modern Afghanistan and allows a player to pretend to be a Taliban fighter and shoot and kill US troops. This is a complete disgrace and out of respect to our troops no retailer in Colorado should sell it.

In October, this game is scheduled to go on sale throughout Colorado and the entire country. The controversy over the game has resulted in US military installations throughout the world banning its sale in their post and base exchanges. British Defense Secretary Liam Fox said last month that he was “disgusted and angry” by what was a “tasteless product.” Secretary Fox called on retailers to show their support for the troops by not selling the game.

The Medal of Honor is the highest honor that can be earned by our soldiers. Many times it is awarded after a soldier has given his or her life for our nation. For this game to come onto the market at this time while American servicemen and women are paying for our freedom with their lives is particularly offensive.

Officials of Electronic Arts Corporation should also rethink selling this video game. In their quest for profit, can these officials look into the eyes of those who have lost loved ones serving our country in Afghanistan with a clear conscious? Where is the respect for our soldiers?

The Colorado Retailers Association should come out with a strong public statement denouncing this product and urging all member retail outlets to refuse to carry such an offensive and vulgar product.

We look forward to your response.

Sincerely,

Scott McInnis Bentley Rayburn

US Congressman Retired US Air Force General Retired

“This game just isn’t right,”McInnis said. “First of all, to call the game Medal of Honor is wrong. The Medal of Honor is the highest honor anyone in the military can win.”

McInnis said it is especially wrong for the game to involve a conflict that is current and ongoing. “This game denigrates the service of our military men and women. It denigrates the military itself.

“We just want to make retailers aware of what may be on their shelf so they can decide for themselves if they should sell it,” McInnis said.

Josh Green, who had worked on the McInnis communications team when McInnis was running for governor earlier this year, said, “Scott felt the game was wrong and thought he had to say something.”

He said McInnis had worked in the area of video game violence while in Congress and “has always been a strong supporter of the military. He thought the game was appalling and that retailers should look very hard at whether they want to sell this.”

The letter has aroused concerns that it may be asking for the CRC to violate both antitrust laws and the First Amendment.

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Scot Kersgaard has been managing editor of a political newspaper, editor and co-owner of a ski town newspaper, executive editor of eight high-tech magazines (where he worked with current Apple CEO Tim Cook), deputy press secretary to a U.S. Senator, and an outdoors columnist at the Rocky Mountain News. He has an English degree from the University of Washington. He was awarded a fellowship to study internet journalism at the University of Maryland's Knight Center for Specialized Journalism. He was student body president in college. He spends his free time hiking and skiing.

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