Sun, Dec 18, 2011
Iran’s response to Battlefield 3: “Assault on Tel-Aviv”
Originally published in The Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center’s bulletin number 146.
Behrouz Mina’i, chairman of the National Foundation for Computer Games, reported this week that Iranian game designers are currently hard at work on the video game Assault on Tel-Aviv in response to Battlefield 3.
When asked by a reporter for Fars News Agency about Iran’s reaction to Battlefield 3, a game recently banned by the Iranian authorities, Mina’i said that Iran recently sent a protest letter to Electronic Arts, the distributor of the game, but has yet to receive a response. He added that Iran’s strategy is based on “attack for attack”, and since the United States is ruled by Israel and is more concerned with an attack on Tel-Aviv than on Washington, Iran will respond to Battlefield 3 by developing the video game Assault on Tel-Aviv. Meanwhile, a number of Iranian video game developers expressed their willingness to help develop Iran’s “reprisal” game (Fars, December 10).
Several weeks ago Iranian authorities decided to impose a total ban on selling the game Battlefield 3, which portrays a U.S. attack on Iran and features a scenario where U.S. troops invade the country on a hunt for a nuclear bomb. The game includes a multiplayer map where battles are fought in the heart of Tehran.
The internal security forces warned computer stores across Iran not to sell copies of the game, illegally smuggled into Iran. In addition, thousands of Iranian youngsters signed an online petition to protest the game. The petition states that even though Battlefield 3 is an imaginary game, its distribution at the present timing is aimed to advance the international campaign waged by the United States in an effort to propagate fear against Iran (Fars, November 29).
In recent years the Iranian authorities have made use of computer games as part of the efforts to advance the regime’s objectives with domestic public opinion. A computer game titled Special Ops was released in the summer of 2007. It followed the attempt of the commander of Iran’s special intelligence forces to rescue two Iranian nuclear scientists taken captive by the United States in Iraq. Other games developed in recent years explore the Islamic revolution and the Iran-Iraq War.
These games are developed and distributed under the leadership of the National Computer Game Foundation. It was established in 2006 by the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution and is supervised by the Ministry of Islamic Guidance. Among other things, the foundation publishes lists of “inappropriate” games that contain violence, sex, alcohol and drug consumption, offense against Muslims or Islam, or secular views. In addition, the foundation is responsible for developing, encouraging, and distributing computer games that promote the values of the Islamic revolution and Iranian Islamic identity, as well as monitoring all the activities pertaining to the computer game industry in Iran.
From the Tehran Times [Dec 10, 2011]:
The computer game “Attack on Tel Aviv” will be the response of Iran’s National Foundation for Computer Games (NFCG) to the American game “Battlefield 3”.
“The game will feature Iran’s reaction toward depicting an American soldier on Tehran’s streets in ‘Battlefield 3’,” the head of NFCG, Behruz Minaii told the Persian service of Fars News Agency at 4th Dubai World Game Summit which was held from November 30 to December 1.
Iranian officials have objected to the plot of the American game that underpins the single-player campaign, which involves a U.S. military raid on Tehran targeting the leader of a fictitious terrorist group.
“We have submitted several letters of objection to the developers of the game but we have yet to receive a response,” he mentioned.
He said that they expressed their objections over the game to the officials of Epic Games who were among the sponsors of Dubai World Game Summit.
“However, their reaction was that it is only a game and we should take it easy, but with the game set in Tehran, it is simply not acceptable,” he mentioned. “The United States is governed by the Zionist Regime so ‘Attack on Tel Aviv’ would make Americans angrier than a game about an attack on Washington,” he added.
Battlefield 3 is a first-person shooter video game developed by EA Digital Illusions CE and published by Electronic Arts…In some scenes of the game, Americans are shown invading Iran in search of missing nuclear warheads in 2014.