Iranian Computer Games Fend Off “Cultural Attack”
Iranian authorities are fighting back against what they say is a cultural attack on their country playing out in the virtual world of video games.
While most foreign-developed games showing U.S. forces battling Middle Eastern terrorists are allowed in Iran, some have been banned.
A case in point is EA's Battlefield 3, banned for including a U.S. military raid on Tehran.
But now with government backing, Iranian video game developers are stepping up the roll-out of localized products that show Iran, its culture and history, in a positive light.
Speaking to the Fars News Agency, Secretary of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution Mokhber Dezfouli said that after the issue of computer games was put squarely on the Council’s agenda, well over a hundred games with Islamic and Iranian content were developed.
Some of these games can apparently go toe-to-toe with the best foreign products in terms of quality and production value.
Creations like Mir Mahna, about the Iranian national hero who defeated Dutch forces in the mid-1700, top the list of games with a historical flavor.
But one of the newest government-funded offerings in the pipeline is attracting its fair share of controversy.
A new title was announced at the International Computer Games Expo in Tehran last month: It’s called “The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict”.
In it players apparently try to catch Rushdie and carry out the standing death sentence against the author.
According to the Islamic Association of Students, the game intends to teach younger generations of Iranians about the 23-year-old fatwa against Rushdie, or Islamic edict to put the author to death for writing a book seen as insulting to Islam.