Back in 2013, shop owners filed a complaint against a couple of famous game titles for portraying Pakistan as a terrorist nation. The games were later banned and removed from stores. The games that got banned were “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and “Medal of Honor: Warfighter”.
The aforementioned war themed games display Pakistan and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) agency as supporters of terrorist organizations like Al Qaeda. The All Pakistan CD, DVD, Audio Cassette Traders and Manufacturers Association (APCDACTM) boycotted and were reported to have removed the games from the stores at the time.
The games were banned because they showed Pakistan and ISI as supporters of terrorism
It seems as though the games remained available in stores despite the ban and the gamers continued to buy these games for their consoles and PCs. An unverified independent estimate puts 76,000 copies of both the games being sold during the past two and a half years for both PCs and consoles. These numbers are for the official copies of the games and do not include the pirated copies available for PCs that are easily available on discs and the internet.
It is indeed a very disappointing display of patriotism and pride by gamers and retailers. Retailers made both the legal copies and the pirated ones available through their outlets while the games’ fans disregarded the ban and the humiliation that these games have brought to Pakistan.
Both the gamers and the retailers put their own interests over their nation’s dignity. And it wasn’t anything major, as boycotting a couple of games would not have made even a minor dent on a retailer’s income. Had the fans and shop owners properly boycotted these games, it would have sent a message to the developers to avoid such controversial material in their future titles.
Despite the ban, the games were available in stores and people kept buying them
Shop owners are claiming that they were unaware of the ban. A renowned entertainment media retailer in Islamabad claimed that both the games were “hot sellers” and that “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” sold more than 5,000 while “Medal of Honor: Warfighter” sold about a 1,000 copies and the they were unaware of such a ban.
It is indeed possible that not all gaming customers were aware of the ban even though the ban was reported by local and international media outlets, social media and even the APCDACTM was aware of the ban. Therefore, retailers claiming that they were unaware of such a ban is nothing more than saving their faces. The games are still available at stores and the security forces are unaware of the matter to take a step against these retailers.
Nations where people put themselves ahead of their country end up in ruin and that is possibly where Pakistan is headed since the people just want the politicians to give highest priority to the country but when it comes to the themselves, they cannot even avoid a couple of games.