The Department for Culture, Media and Sport this morning distanced itself from the Defence Secretary's call to "ban" Medal of Honor in the UK – describing his comments as "a personal view" while backing the game's existing BBFC 18-rating.

A statement issued to, attributed to a DCMS spokesperson, said: "Dr Fox was expressing a personal view and we understand why some people might find the subject matter of the game offensive.

"There is a ratings system in place which exists to categorise games appropriately, in this case the game in question is rated 18 so should only be sold to, and played by, adults.

"There is a clear choice for consumers which they can exercise when making decisions about purchasing videogames."

In comments reported over the weekend, Fox described EA's forthcoming action game – which allows players to assume the role of the Taliban in multiplayer – as "tasteless" and "shocking." He added: "I would urge retailers to show their support for our armed forces "and ban this tasteless product."

Medal of Honor was awarded an 18-rating by the BBFC on August 17 for its "strong bloody violence".

UPDATE: Electronic Arts has issued a statement to clear up inaccuracies in a report by The Sunday Times, which claimed Medal of Honor allows players to fight as and kill British troops, which is not the case.

"Medal of Honor is a highly authentic depiction of the soldier's experience in Afghanistan – matching US forces against the Taliban in today's war.

"Multiplayer combat is a long-standing, common and popular feature of videogames. In multi-player, teams assume the identities of combatants on both sides of the conflict. Many popular videogames allow players to assume the identity of enemies including Nazis and terrorists. In the multi-player levels of Medal of Honor, teams will assume the identity of both US forces and the Taliban.

The Sunday Times story on Medal of Honor contains inaccuracies. For one, Medal of Honor does not allow players to kill British soldiers. British troops do not feature in the game."

The game is due for release on PS3, 360 and PC on October 15.