Iranian leaders have defended Tehran from attack – by a video game.
Police in Iran banned the top-selling game Battlefield 3, which lets players take on the role of US Marines invading Paris, New York and Tehran. The game, published by Electronic Arts, a giant American publisher of video games, debuted October 25. EA has no resellers in Iran, but pirated copies were commonly available in stores in Iran.
That’s no longer the case after police raided shops in Tehran and confiscated copies of Battlefield 3. Asr-e-Ertebat, a weekly technology magazine, quoted an unnamed police official as saying that the game was banned. Another site, gooyaIT, said shopkeepers who sold the game would be subject to five years in jail and a fine of 10 million Rials (about $922).
But the game remains available for download on Persian websites.
The Persian Weblog Jazirehgame praised its advanced features: “the explosions and the aftershocks, the shattering of windows, feel so natural.” But the game was highly political, the blogger added in Persian. “One of its intentions is clearly to prepare the minds of the people and the young generation for a military attack against Iran,” he wrote .
The Iranian news agency Fars cited an unnamed Iranian group circulating an Internet petition about the game, saying “we believe the game is purposely released at a time when the U.S. is pushing the international community into fearing Iran.” It ran a separate post citing the controversial American blogger James Morris, who in early November had raised the question of how the U.S. would react to a Chinese game involving the takeover of American cities and enslaving of American citizens.