Hadi Mirror

I am an Iranian journalist and blogger, studied Sociology, with interests and experiences in New Media and citizen journalism. I cover Iran on Global Voices here: http://globalvoicesonline.org/author/hadi-nili. I'm on twitter @ HadiMirror.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Tehran is the new Battlefield

Two weeks after the release of Battlefield 3, Iranian users seem to be excited and thrilled about the video game which is happening in their own homeland, along the rumors on a possible real attack on Iran

The Battlefield 3 (commonly abbreviated to BF3) is a first-person shooter video game which takes place at various locations including Iran. The story happens in 2014 to stop a nuclear threat in Tehran.

The game is released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The international market which welcomed the game and reached a 10 million sell in first week of release due to its two successful previous versions.

Various Iranian online users has said the the game is “banned” in Iran.

Iranian market is not responsible about copy right concerns and although none of major game publishers have any official distribution in Iran, Iranian youth follow the famous video games just like their other fellow-youth in the world. They can buy the games on CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray, almost once they got released.

But it seems that they have problems in finding Battlefield 3 in its plot location.

At the same time Iranian young users have shown excitement, surprise and anxiety to this video game in various online reactions.


Amin says [Fa] on twitter:
I didn’t find Battlefield 3 anywhere. They have sealed a shop for selling it. No one here dare to sell it.

Another user from Tehran, AtalMatal tweeted [Fa] that playing Battlefield 3 “have a legal prosecution” in Iran.

Milad Abadani, an Iranian user on Friendfeed, says that this ban is “unofficial” and is because of the plot which takes place in Iran and Tehran.

There are some regulations for official distribution of video games in Iran but this is rare for them to be banned. This game is banned and there has been a few other games like it; but this is not officially announced so there is no list of this banned games in Iran.

However this video game has reached to its players in Iran with the benefit of broadband Internet access on online shops. Iranian users have downloaded it through torrent and direct download servers or have ordered it online to have it as soon as other world players.

Even some online users like Baha Firuzi believe [Fa] that this ban has encouraged Iranian youth to have the game and play it.

The coincidence of release of this game with rumors of an impending Israeli or American military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, made the game more significant to Iranian users. Iranian bloggers have reacted to this reports.

Ali Agha, a Toronto-based Iranian user on Friendfeed, shared a link to a demo video of the game and commented [Fa] this video game shows that “how they work on bean minds of Iranian teenagers. Be careful.”

Masoud Saedi, Iranian tweeted [Fa]:
I watched the demo of Battlefield 3. I’m thrilled. This is the soft-war which they say. We are the terrorists.

“Afsoon”, A Persian blog which writes about IT, softwares and geek things, in a brief introduction on the video game describes [Fa] it as a “childish dream of America for an easy invade of Iran”.

Golsaw, an Iranian citizen who seems to be based in UK, tweeted [Fa]:
I’m frightened to shake when I see the ads of Battlefield on buses: war in Iran.

At the same time Ali is excited about having major highways of Tehran in the game route in his tweet [Fa], and Matin tweeted [Fa]
That makes you lough when they swear in Persian in Battlefield.

Nima says [Fa] on twitter:
Battlefield is great. In all the aspects. There is a moment in it that you fly with a F18 from Persian Gulf to the Mehrabad airport for a raid. This is the maximum of excitement.

Ali Nazifpour, an Iranian blogger who is a professionally writes about video games in his blog Gaming Symmetry, believes [Fa]:
Battlefield 3 portraits a very inaccurate, ridiculous picture of Iran. [The developers] haven’t discarded the incorrect stereotypes which is repeated a lot.

He writes from Tehran:
This game has come out in a very sensitive time. Iran has never been so stormy. Iranians feel the threat of war, and this game has come out at the wrong time, to say the least.

And this blogger says he’s “worried sick” after hearing about Battlefield 3.

Arash Kamangir, a prominent Persian blogger, reminds this is not the first video game which happens in Iran. There was even some games in an opposite scenario, he says.

This blogger believes [Fa]:
There is no doubt this is not coincidental that this video game takes place in Iran, but US defense ministry is not the owner or the share-holder in EA (the developer of this game) and making some teenagers got involved to this game, is not "preparing the public opinion" about a war.

This Toronto-based Iranian blogger believes that assuming Battlefield 3 as a "PR for war" is simplifying the relations in a complex world".

Asad Zamini, another Iranian blogger, in reaction to Kamangir, writes that he is "passive to a war position against his country".

ّAsad, who has been supporting protests in Iran, writes:
Video games should grant a license to be published. Military industries influence such kill-kill games. US army deploy such games to recruit people.

In another reaction to Battlefield 3 and Kamangir post on it, Amir Masoud in his Persian blog Lemonasion says:
Yes, Kamangir is true. There is no evidence that proves US defence ministry has any share in the company which publishes this game. But it doesn't mean that this video game is an aimless or casual project.

This Isfahan-based blogger argues:
Yes, may be there is no conspiracy behind this game, but as an Iranian we should always oppose such a scenario in which our country is occupied or our fellow-citizens are killed. And we should object it.

ّAn state-run Iranian youth magazine has lunched an online petition to object Battlefield 3 for putting a “false” image of Iran.

Hamshahri Javan, which is published by Tehran municipality, put an statement on its website [Fa] and on ipetitions.com [En] which reads:
We fully comprehended that this game is created for fun purposes only and is just a game... [But] the US is manipulating the media throughout the world and is influencing the public perception of Iran. Battlefield 3 paints a negative, brutal and unrealistic picture of what our country truly is.

This Iranian youth magazine urges EA the developer of this video game for:
a written apology to acknowledge our displeasure… as well as a formal statement to the gaming industry audience, stating that this game is not in any shape or form a representative of our civilised and modern culture and has been made purely for entertainment purposes.

This petition received hundreds of signatures in first hours.

The talks about this game in Persian cyberspace has been so much that once the reports about the possible attack on Iran got published, some Iranian users compared it to Battlefield 3.

Landehour on Friendfeed compares Iranians’ discussions in this social website the game: Is this Friendfeed or the Battlefield?

Milad Abadani believes that such a game is a preparation for a real war on Iran.

And in a unique and different approach Mehri, an Iranian mother, asks on twitter:
Is Battlefield good to learn defying against America?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battlefield_3
(commonly abbreviated to BF3) is a first-person shooter video game which takes place at various locations including Iran. The story happens in 2014 to stop a nuclear threat in Tehran.
The game is released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
The international market which welcomed the game and reached a 10 million sell
http://bf3blog.com/2011/10/battlefield-3-ships-10-million-copies/
in first week of release due to its two successful previous versions. At the same time Iranian young users have shown excitement, surprise and anxiety to this video game in various online reactions.
Various Iranian online users has said the the game is “banned” in Iran.
Iranian market is not responsible about copy right concerns and although none of major game publishers have any official distribution in Iran, Iranian youth follow the famous video games just like their other fellow-youth in the world.
They can buy the games on CD, DVD, and Blu-Ray, almost once they got released.
But it seems that they have problems in finding Battlefield 3 in its plot location..
AminBZ says on twitter:
https://twitter.com/aminbz/status/133136169679593472
I didn’t find Battlefield 3 anywhere. They have sealed a shop for selling it. No one here dare to sell it.
Another user from Tehran, AtalMatal says on twitter that
https://twitter.com/AtalMatal/status/134730364412379136
playing Battlefield 3 “have a legal prosecution” in Iran.
Milad Abadani, an Iranian user on Friendfeed, says:
http://friendfeed.com/rafighebikalak/d1988098
that this ban is “unofficial” and is because of the plot which takes place in Iran and Tehran.
But this video game has reached to its players in Iran with the benefit of broadband Internet access on online shops. Iranian users have downloaded it through torrent and direct download servers or have ordered it online to have it as soon as other world players.
Even some online users like Baha Firuzi believe
https://twitter.com/Bahaaa1989/status/134326499301007360
that this ban has encouraged Iranian youth to have the game and play it.
The coincidence of release of this game with rumors of an impending Israeli or American military attack on Iranian nuclear facilities, made the game more significant to Iranian users.
Iranian bloggers have reacted
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/11/08/iranbloggers-react-to-military-strikes-rumors
to this reports, but users who have been playing Battlefield 3 have shown interest in this aspect of this game.
Ali Agha, a Toronto-based Iranian user on Friendfeed, linking to a demo video of the game, believes
http://friendfeed.com/aliagha5/b7f93a9f
this video game shows that “how they work on bean minds of Iranian teenagers. Be careful.”
Masoud Saedi, Iranian tweeted:
https://twitter.com/masud_saedi/status/132187758956527616
I watched the demo of Battlefield 3. I’m thrilled. This is the soft-war which they say. We are the terrorists.
“Afsoon”, A Persian blog which writes about IT, softwares and geek things, in a brief introduction on the video game, describes it as a “childish dream of America for an easy invade of Iran”.
http://www.afson01.com/archives/4158
Golsaw, an Iranian citizen who seems to be based in UK, tweeted:
https://twitter.com/Golsaw/status/133945953987198977
I’m frightened to shake when I see the ads of Battlefield on buses: war in Iran.
At the same time Ali is more excited about having major highways of Tehran in the game route in his tweet,
https://twitter.com/abbasinasab/status/131855059205099521
and Matin tweeted
https://twitter.com/alsen2120/status/134285005663903745
“that makes you lough when they swear in Persian in Battlefield".
Nima says on twitter
https://twitter.com/NimBold/status/132227123380359169
Battlefield is great. In all the aspects. There is a moment in it that you fly with a F18 from Persian Gulf to the Mehrabad airport for a raid. This is the maximum of excitement.
The talks about this game in Persian cyberspace has been so much that once the reports about the possible attack on Iran got published, some Iranian users compared it to Battlefield 3.
Landehour says on Friendfeed compares
http://friendfeed.com/landehour/4ecdcfa9
Iranians’ discussions in this social website the game: Is this Friendfeed or the Battlefield?
Milad Abadani believes
http://friendfeed.com/rafighebikalak/355ef691/feature-player_embedded-3
that such a game is a preparation for a real war on Iran.
And in a different approach Mehri, an Iranian mother, asks:
https://twitter.com/#!/Mehribanooo/status/134244806976208896
Is Battlefield good to learn defying against America

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