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A Video Game Ahmadinejad Would Love To Play


By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL

Several Iranian news websites, including "Kharabonline" and "Aftabnews," are reporting that copies of a computer game targeting Iran's opposition leaders has been distributed in some cities in Iran's Isfahan Province.

A conservative Iranian blog has made the game available online for download while calling on web users "to destroy" Iran's opposition leaders "with the weapons of insight and intelligence."

In the game, titled "Fighting The Leaders Of Sedition," the player shoots at targets that look like opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi, Mehdi Karrubi, and Mohammad Khatami. (Sedition is a term used by hard-liners and government officials to describe the street protests after the reelection of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad.) Musavi, Karrubi, and Khatami can all shoot back.

It's not clear who is behind the creation and distribution of the game. "Aftabnews," however, says that "the production, sale, and distribution of all audio-visual materials, particularly in the provinces, is under the supervision of the police."

News reports say Iran's official news agency originally reported that the game was distributed in Isfahan, but I couldn't find the original report on IRNA's website.

Interesting choice of background music as well: a popular song, "Yare dabestani man," which became a protest song sang usually at student gatherings.

Paris-based sociologist Azadeh Kian told RFE/RL's Radio Farda broadcaster Arash Hassania that those who created the game seem to be willing to spread violence in the Iranian society.

The hard-line blogger "nofuzi," who posted the game online for download, said he is not aware of the identity of the game's creators but added that "it's definitely a popular move."

Who knows, it might be a bit hit, especially for those officials and hard-liners who have in recent months called for the leaders of the so-called "sedition" to be put on trial and jailed.

Copyright (c) 2010 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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