news\ Sep 10, 2012 at 11:21 am

Bin Laden-themed 'Zero Dark Thirty' map pack announced for Medal of Honor: Warfighter

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Since its announcement, the emphasis of Medal of Honor: Warfighter has been about creating an authentic military experience that tells the story of Tier 1 operators as they are deployed overseas. The game offers missions inspired by real-world events which, to some, could be viewed as controversial.

One such case is with the just announced "Zero Dark Thirty" map pack (known in Europe as the Hunt Pack). Detailed today on the Medal of Honor: Warfighter blog, the Zero Dark Thirty downloadable content is based on the events that led to the eventual killing of Osama Bin Laden, the founder of terrorist organization al-Qaeda. The DLC will take players to some of the most dangerous places that soldiers went through on the decade long manhunt for Bin Laden, though some of the most remote and dangerous parts of the world.

The first map, The Darra Gun Market is "located in a tribal land where the rules are defined by only two principles – hospitality and revenge. No police are allowed to enter the area and all the laws are made by the tribal leader."

"This small town in Pakistan is home to dozens of back-alley shops and self-taught machinists who are in many cases building guns by hand," the description reads. "Almost no outsiders ever see this town. What better place to hide than where only locales and known tribal members are allowed to enter."

The second map is Chitral, "another area of Pakistan thought for a time to be one of Bin Laden's hideouts". Chitral is described as "a rural mountainous area filled with deep narrow valleys, it has many places that are inaccessible several months each year because of snow and road conditions."

"There are over 1200 small towns scattered throughout the Chitral district and finding someone who doesn’t want to be found would be next to impossible," the description adds.

The Zero Dark Thirty pack was created in partnership with Sony Pictures Entertainment for the upcoming Osama Bin Laden film, Zero Dark Thirty. The multiplayer map pack will be released during the week of December 17, in conjunction with the film's release.

“We’ve teamed up with Sony Pictures Entertainment to give back to the Special Operations community in honor of the sacrifices they and their families have made for their country and to connect people to the story of the greatest manhunt our world has seen," said EA's Chief Operating Officer Peter Moore.

A portion of the map pack sales will go to army charities. as part of EA's commitment to give back at least $1 million through its Project HONOR campaign. For each Medal of Honor Warfighter Zero Dark Thirty Map Pack sold, EA will donate $1, with donations split among participating nonprofits.

“Working with Project HONOR is a meaningful way for us to continue our support for combat veterans throughout the armed services,” added Mark Boal, writer-producer of Zero Dark Thirty. “We are thrilled to be a part of this effort, and we’re humbled that EA is stepping up to the plate with such a significant contribution.”

While I commend EA for their support of the troopers and military with some of the profits, one has to question the ethics of such a map pack. I mean, we are talking about maps of real-life locations where thousands have lost their lives. Is it right to make a game based on these events?

Not to mention, it comes at a time when video games, specifically first-person shooters, are the scapegoat for many of todays mass shootings. People blame fictional video games like Call of Duty for these tragic events; what happens when a game based on real events is now playable?

I think if it were done as a single player campaign add-on, one that tells an emotional and impactful story, rather than a mindless multiplayer shoot 'em up than it can be considered meaningful. Right now though, as a multiplayer map add-on, it seems like nothing more than a shallow cash grab.

Is EA doing the right thing by releasing a map pack based on this or is the Zero Dark Thirty map pack in poor taste?

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