Rugged veteran Iranian special forces hero "Commander Bahman" will soon be tackling one of his toughest missions, rescuing one of his country's top atomic scientists captured by US forces in Iraq.
Or he will be doing so soon on computer screens across the Islamic Republic, the Fars news agency reported on Sunday.
The agency said a computer game detailing the fictional Commander Bahman's adventures, designed by schoolchildren belonging to the Union of Islamic Student Societies, would be available before March 2007.
AFP has another story on the as-yet unnamed Iranian game.
Reuters also notes that Iranians who were angered by a Kuma Reality game called Assault on Iran circulated a petition to take the game offline. Kuma, of course, is the company notorious for making mini-games based on current events. Assault on Iran (pictured above) was released in September 2005, and Kuma describes its gameplay as follows:
As a Special Forces soldier in this playable mission, you will infiltrate Iran’s nuclear facility at Natanz, located 150 miles south of Iran’s capital of Teheran. But breaching the security cordon around the hardened target won’t be easy. Your team’s mission: Infiltrate the base, secure evidence of illegal uranium enrichment, rescue your man on the inside, and destroy the centrifuges that promise to take Iran into the nuclear age. Never before has so much hung in the balance... millions of lives, and the very future of democracy could be at stake
Evidently, the petition against Kuma has not been successful. Kuma, never one to shirk from a chance at good old fashioned exploitation, is currently advertising Assault on Iran on its front page as its "featured mission."
Iran's Commander Bahman game won't be the first reality game from the Islamic world, of course. Many gamers are familiar with the Lebanese Special Force and the Syrian games Under Ash and UnderSeige. China has also gotten into creating "patriotic" war games. Given the spread of the medium, we'll be seeing a lot more of this internationalization of the war game in the months and years to come.
More: Gamepolitics reminds us that Commander Bahman game is of course nothing more than vaporware at this point, which raises the question: do political games even have to really exist in order to serve their purposes? Like Joseph DeLappe's dead-in-iraq project, it seems like the point of many of these games comes closer to that of conceptual art or political publicity stunts than actual game play.