Salman Rushdie Believes Nintendo Can Solve the Middle East Crisis

Salman Rushdie Believes Nintendo Can Solve the Middle East Crisis

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Peace talks don't seem to be helping in the Middle East, so maybe Nintendo can make a difference instead.

Acclaimed author Salman Rushdie thinks he knows exactly what will solve the issues plaguing the Middle East these days. In a recent interview with Big Think, Rushdie said that the answer just might be videogames.

Rushdie heralded the videogame as a medium that has the potential to take storytelling to a place that books can't. Through watching his son play Red Dead Redemption, he realized that the player of a game has a "greater agency to explore and inhabit the world" than the reader of a book.

Videogames tell stories "sideways" and Rushdie said this interests him, comparing the method to short story The Garden of Forking Paths where an author attempted to tell every variation on his story possible. Ultimately, this becomes impossible in a book, but in a game Rushdie believes there are "millions of possibilities offered at the same level of authority."

At the same time, Rushdie said he worries about a "dumbing down factor" of the storytelling in videogames, meaning that it may harm the human relationship with the art of the story. This is obviously something important to him as an author, and to humans which are sometimes called the "storytelling animal."

Still, Rushdie sees a huge amount of value in videogames, and he even says they could solve a number of conflicts in the Middle East. When asked about Islamic terrorism, a problem he became close to after a fatwa was issued against him for publishing The Satanic Verses in 1988, Rushdie offered a lengthy, detailed explanation of what can be done to prevent the "colossal battle" that is taking place within Islam in areas like Iran and Iraq. However, he ultimately says: "I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is to drop Nintendo consoles from the air. And Big Macs."

He's got a good point. As far as I know, his idea has never been attempted before, so why not give it a shot? Who could fight a war after seeing Mario in a bee suit?

Source: BigThink

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"Salman Rushdie Believes Nintendo Can Solve the Middle East Crisis"

Shows a picture of mario dressed as a bee, farting.

Besides that, ive been thinking the same thing. Im a wannabe videogame creator, and i have an idea in most of my games that YOU take the shoes of someone, perhaps someone who you would you disagree in with real life.
"oh, of course i stole that food. If i didnt, i would die and lose the game." Ive been designing a survival game, and image after playing that game for so long, it would spill over into real life "now i find myself looking at woman with wider hips more. They have an increased chance of surviving multiple child births. Thats awesome and very attractive to me now" lol

I think I see a problem with this.

okay men drop the nintendo consoles
*wii' falls from sky with tiny little parachutes
sir what about the games?
dont worry each wii has a game in it
(extremist finds one of the wiis) Oh finaly an understandalbe peace offering
*turns wii on only to find call of duty moderen warfare is on it.
DAMMMMMMMMMMN YOU ALLLLLLLLLL

I apoligize for my poor humor

Seriously, I mean, the title "Salman Rushdie Believes Nintendo Can Solve the Middle East Crisis" sounds like the kind of thing you'd find in a copy of "The Sun".

Whats Salman been smoking? I need to find some of that stuff!

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Why has nobody tried this before?!

Tom Goldman:
"I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is to drop Nintendo consoles from the air. And Big Macs."

Hells teeth, I can see why they declared a fatwa on you.

Do you think that possibly the influx of unwanted American/Japanese culture is what's making them angry? Just a thought...

The_root_of_all_evil:

Tom Goldman:
"I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is to drop Nintendo consoles from the air. And Big Macs."

Hells teeth, I can see why they declared a fatwa on you.

Do you think that possibly the influx of unwanted American/Japanese culture is what's making them angry? Just a thought...

I suspect its more the tanks and aircraft that gets them pissed off...

And I thought that woman talking how games will save the world sounded silly.

Darkong:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Tom Goldman:
"I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is to drop Nintendo consoles from the air. And Big Macs."

Hells teeth, I can see why they declared a fatwa on you.

Do you think that possibly the influx of unwanted American/Japanese culture is what's making them angry? Just a thought...

I suspect its more the tanks and aircraft that gets them pissed off...

Or even some jackass author mocking their most sacred prophet in a mediocre novel?

Darkong:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Tom Goldman:
"I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is to drop Nintendo consoles from the air. And Big Macs."

Hells teeth, I can see why they declared a fatwa on you.

Do you think that possibly the influx of unwanted American/Japanese culture is what's making them angry? Just a thought...

I suspect its more the tanks and aircraft that gets them pissed off...

Having been there and having parents who live there, I wouldn't be quite so sure.

zombie711:
I think I see a problem with this.

okay men drop the nintendo consoles
*wii' falls from sky why tiny little parachutes
sir what about the games?
dont worry each wii has a game in it
(extremist finds one of the wiis) Oh finaly an understandalbe peace offering
*turns wii on only to find call of duty moderen warfare is on it.
DAMMMMMMMMMMN YOU ALLLLLLLLLL

I apoligize for my poor humor

Apology NOT accepted

Salman Rushdie is freaking awesome, and learning this about him makes him even greater.

:D

While I long for the morning papers to say "video games create peace in middle east", I doubt games would solve much issues.

And besides, all the Japanese culture that would flow in probably wouldn't go over too well.

Ehhh... I'm hesitant to break out the cheers for such a concept.

Using video games as a medium to explore another's lifestyle and culture, I can encourage. Might not go over so well in the west, but thinking of any kind of open world game set to a radically different mindset appeals to me. Like Fallout set in a Middle Eastern country (Fallout: Dubai ftw!). I jest of course, but if the game hinges on seeing those tiny human viewpoints of this one massive cataclysm (here's to you Keller Family), then I think it could be a deeply insightful thing to play through, politically correct landmines aside.

However, the entire premise of 'drop Nintendo DS and Big Macs from the sky', even as a joke, smacks of monoculture to me,and the thought of one global culture just doesn't sit well with me. Such diversity is a point of strife and contention, true enough. But it's also the source of an incredible and incomparable beauty. (Personally I'm all for the Orson Scott Card approach of hurtling every culture into space and giving them each a planet, while earth remains divided)

Meh, just a thought.

Mr.Wiggles:

Darkong:

The_root_of_all_evil:

Hells teeth, I can see why they declared a fatwa on you.

Do you think that possibly the influx of unwanted American/Japanese culture is what's making them angry? Just a thought...

I suspect its more the tanks and aircraft that gets them pissed off...

Or even some jackass author mocking their most sacred prophet in a mediocre novel?

I guess you haven't read the novel. I'm only saying that because you wrote it as if Salman Rushdie's book actively mocked to most 'sacred' prophet.

Read the goddamn book. Then tell me how offended you were. If you were offended at all I'll give you a cookie. And a scotch.

And remember, ANYTHING sets off extremists. A kawaii photo of Muhammad hugging a bunny while sniffing a daisy would set off a death threat.

DON'T LET THEM PLAY NEW SUPER MARIO BROS. WII!

Cool, maybe he'll do some writing for games.

We already know how to resolve the crisis in the Middle East, Gaza Strippers.

Well, I'll give him this; It's a bit difficult to shoot people when you're trying to get to the end of that one Super Mario Bros. level that you've died on for the billillionth time...

The_root_of_all_evil:

Tom Goldman:
"I often think that the best way to liberate Iran is to drop Nintendo consoles from the air. And Big Macs."

Hells teeth, I can see why they declared a fatwa on you.

Do you think that possibly the influx of unwanted American/Japanese culture is what's making them angry? Just a thought...

Judging by the satirical nature of his writing, I think this last remark was probably meant to be sardonic.

Also I love how Rushdie has come up with terminology to describe the common video game narrative style. He is definitely one of the best authors of the last half of the century.

I wish someone would bomb me with hamburgers.

So Nintendo and Mario... are going to save the world (or the Middle East)? Huh, I'm intrigued.

So you liberate them by making them fat nerds? Seems like that would only make them bigger shut ins XD. Just Kidding.

He sounds like an ok guy to hang around with.

I've gotta say- I've thought of this before.

Although I recognize the lack of Wiis in many middle eastern nations, I don't think that's why there's so much fighting. No offense, but Rushdie probably wasn't thinking it through when he said that video games would be the answer.

No offense to Mr. Rushdie, but attempting to export even more culture into the Middle East will solve nothing. Militant Islam is a product of an attempted solidarity movement within Islam as well as a response to both Western intervention and cultural imperialism. If anything, more culture will be seen as an attempt to challenge Islamic beliefs, leading more to embrace radical comprehensive doctrines.

Also, just leaving the Middle East alone won't solve anything either. Best thing to do is to support moderate Islam movements within Middle Eastern countries.

Layzor:
Cool, maybe he'll do some writing for games.

Where can I send in my preemptive pre-order for such a game? I would love to see what such a creation looks like!

I think this is great. Definatly up for incorparating games for world peice.

Telling stories sideways. That's a brilliant way of putting it. I'm going to use that next time I have to argue how Morrowind and Half-Life do it right while Halo and CoD do it wrong. He gets it like so few high culture figures do. So why is he so down on Game of Thrones?

 

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