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Prince Harry draws Taliban criticism for comparing war to video games

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Prince Harry of Wales drew the ire of the Taliban with comments in which he said his experience playing video games such as Electronic Arts' FIFA Soccer titles translated into combat usefulness, reports the International Business Times.

Prince Harry recently completed a 20-week tour in Afghanistan during which he flew in the cockpit of an Apache attack helicopter as co-pilot. He said he played video games to unwind, and added that the leisure activity helped exercise his thumbs for helicopter operation.

"It's a joy for me because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox so, with my thumbs, I like to think that I'm probably quite useful," said Prince Harry. "I thrash them at FIFA the whole time."

The Taliban did not appreciate the mention of video games as training for combat. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said, "To describe the war in Afghanistan as a game demeans anyone — especially a prince, who is supposed to be made of better things."

Mujahid previously threatened Prince Harry's life upon his arrival in Afghanistan.

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