Islamic Extremists Made This Video Game

You sometimes hear Western video games set in real-world geopolitical hotspots -- like entries in the Call of Duty, Battlefield and Medal of Honor series -- get decried as jingoistic, flag-waving propaganda. While the claim can be made that political mindsets and cultural biases seep into those video games, they're not explicitly made to froth up ideological allegiances.

Islamic Mali -- as reported by Foreign Policy -- goes hard in the opposite direction. The new game -- playable here -- made by Islamic extremists takes players into the skies to engage in aerial dogfights in the name of al-Qaeda. It's a rudimentary HTML5 browser game where you control an al-Qaeda fighter jet shooting down and dodging fire from French fighter planes. Islamic Mali virtualises the very real conflict in Mali, where local rebel forces have been fighting jihadi soldiers with help from the French military.

And like so many top-down arcade shooters before it, there's a one-shot instant-kill power-up in Islamic Mali too. Click on the black box of Arabic text -- which translates as the first part of the shahada, Islam's core declaration of faith: "There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God" -- and a black laser obliterates all enemies in its path. And when it's game over, pop-up text indicates that you've become a martyr to the jihadi cause.

Islamic Mali joins the ranks of other explicitly political titles from other countries, like Glorious Mission in China or the Flash games hosted on North Korean web portal Uriminzokkiri. These games won't compete with bigger, fancier games from the West when it comes to entertainment value. But the fact that they exist is a testament to how fervently their creators want their particular ideologies to permeate every aspect of people's lives.

Jihadis create retro 2-D shooter video game [Foreign Policy, via Twitter]


Comments

    if the news is to be believed they are cliche bearded ak47 waving crazies.
    not gamers

    Still where is the mistreatment of women? The flogging of non believers? The riots over problems that happen in foreign countries?

    But the fact that they exist is a testament to how fervently their creators want their particular ideologies to permeate every aspect of people’s lives.

    So, the same as EA then.

    Last edited 14/03/13 4:51 pm

    I am not sure why you make the distinction between the big-budget games vs the low budget flash stuff.
    I mean the article was cool up until the last sentence :
    But the fact that they exist is a testament to how fervently their creators want their particular ideologies to permeate every aspect of people’s lives
    I mean - isn't that the point of ALL flash games? Creators want to spread their ideas/gameplay with as many people they can?

    Next on FoxNews: All gamers are terrorists!

    'they’re not explicitly made to froth up ideological allegiances.'

    Why yes, yes they are. That's why you don't see CoD games focusing on conflicts and opponents that aren't 'enemies' of the US Empire. Getting Americuhns worked up and steamy = $$$

    You can just sweep the screen with the power of god, so why would you use the standard fire mode? It could also use some sound and a bigger screen. Is it made for small screen devices? Think I'll wait for the sequel.

    I'm scared to click the link...the American Government might deem me as a terrorist for trying the game out and next morning bam...dark room, no windows...forever alone.

    Insert blowing self up/72 virgins/terrorist jokes here. This is just ridiculous.

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