America Scared Of Iran's Video Games, Says Iran

Iran's mastery of the Unity engine may not have gotten the attention of the United Nations Security Council, but games like Gando (pictured above) sure have spooked 'Murica, according to Iranian government sources quoted in a report published by Iran.

Mokhber Dezfouli, the secretary of Iran's Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, said video games became a priority on orders from Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khameni himself. "We used to have only two weak [Iran-made] games," Dezfouli said. The item was published by the Fars News Agency, which is hardly an independent publication.

Recognising video games' importance in exporting culture, Iran began the peaceful pursuit of an enrichment process that later "developed around 140 games with Islamic and Iranian contents which can compete with foreign products," Dezfouli said. One of them is Gando, a platformer made for children ages three and up.

Brian Crecente had a look at Gando and 40 other Iranian-made games back at Gamescom last year, and clicking through the gallery, some have overtly nationalistic, historical or religious themes, but many do not. Hell, three of them dealt with the country's conflict with Iraq, one set in 1982, another in the year 2484. Any sane reading of that games catalogue would see something reasonably similar in tone with what goes on in the West, which itself has no shortage of military propaganda produced in consultation with government agents.

But naturally, Kotaku was not cited by Iran in describing the West's reaction to Persian games development. "A TV network in the West voiced concern, saying that Iran's move is aimed at exporting the culture of the Islamic Revolution," Dezfouli said. How much do you want to bet that was just Megyn Kelly again scaring the crap out of a nursing home on Fox News?

The government report goes on to mention the banning, and subsequent double-banning, of Battlefield 3, which featured an American strike on Tehran. Iran's response was, typically, to commission a game about attacking Israel.

I don't have any illusions about these games' quality compared to RPGs, racers and other apolitical games in the West, nor do I really want to play them. But if mainstream media in the West caricatures everything in Iran as fire-breathing Islamist propaganda, Iran itself seems all too willing to do it, too.

Official: West Concerned about Iranian, Islamic Video Games Production [Fars News Agency]


Comments

    Iran next game, funded by the ayotallah himself will be about bombing murica and israel...thats probably true

      Israil are probubly doing the EXACT same thing with Iran, so really, no big deal. Infact, I think Kotaku should have a look at some of the games that have come out from there.... some of them are just down right rasist.

    Let Iranian developers release games - if they're any good I'll buy them myself. While we many will say I'd be supporting a corrupt regime - I'd rather think that anyone making games over their is likely to include their own spin on life in Iran. So game Devs are likely to include a hint of political satire, veiled though it may be.
    Additionally the games are a stepping stone to a more liberal stance. Allow people access to computers and give them games. Or better yet get them developing them an you've got a new avenue for expression from a country that the west views as oppressed.
    In short this may give the people a voice.

      I don't think the US wants to give them a voice. I'm sure it would rather speak for them.

      The correct term is a 'corrupt' government and ironically that's a somewhat non-useful term for Iran anyway. Authoritarian Muslim governments tend to not be as corrupt as their democratic equivalents ... Iran is caught somewhere between democracy and theocracy ... and what we might cite as corruption, over there, is actually laws being broken that should be broken ie loopholes to the 'married before sex' laws.

      As for this article ... it almost reads like a parody. Using the word Enrichment? Not citing your sources precisely? Relying on translated statements? Are you trying to make a joke about that whole "wipe israel off the map" translation screw up? Or are you just an unabashed, one sided source for propaganda on international events?

      Make up your mind ... it's either political comedy or propaganda.

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