New Videogame Developer Appears on the Middle East Scene

New Videogame Developer Appears on the Middle East Scene

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A new videogame depicting the 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah has been released in the Middle East - developed by Hezbollah.

Called Special Force 2, the game puts players in the role of a Hezbollah Mujahid fighting the Israeli Defense Forces in southern Lebanon. Players score points and accumulate new weapons by killing Israeli soldiers. The game was designed by Hezbollah computer experts.

"This game presents the culture of resistance to children: That occupation must be resisted and that land and the nation must be guarded," said Hezbollah media official Sheikh Ali Daher. "Through this game the child can build an idea of some of ... the most prominent battles and the idea that this enemy can be defeated."

He said the game forces players to allocate resources wisely, and reflects Hezbollah tactics. "The features which are the secret of the resistance's victory in the south, have moved to this game so that the child can understand that fighting the enemy does not only require the gun," Daher said. "It requires readiness, supplies, armament, attentiveness, tactics."

In July 2006, Hezbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers patrolling the Israel-Lebanon border, sparking a 34-day conflict which killed over 150 Israelis, mostly soldiers, and 1200 Lebanese, mostly civilians, extensively damaged Lebanon's infrastructure and displaced nearly a million Lebanese citizens. Hezbollah claimed the conflict was a "divine victory."

Special Force 2 is selling for about $10 in Lebanon, and hundreds of copies have already been pre-ordered.

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Politically I think this is almost definitely a bad idea. However, philosophically, I must applaud the use of games to express and promote a viewpoint, even one I find entirely evil and depraved. Propaganda is still art - and the message would still be conveyed without the game.

If the game involves fighting Israeli soldiers, philosophical applause seems appropriate as we can respect the use of an art form for political reasons even if we disagree with the politics. But if (and I say if because I haven't played the game), if the game involves killing citizens and other terror tactics - war crimes - I don't think applause is merited even on a philosophical basis.

I don't applaud Mein Kampf, for instance.

Is Mein Kampf close enough to call Godwin's?

Propaganda finds a home in all media. No surprise here. We play our own propaganda all day long, we're just less aware of it. America's Army, anyone? Any WWII game made to date?

Someone let me know if I'm wrong here, but aren't most serious tactical squad games from the perspective of the cops/soldiers taking down the criminal masterminds/terrorists? Where are the heist games with planning modes as deep as SWAT, or with team tactics like Rainbow Six?

I suppose there's Counterstrike.

I guess if Hamas is doing bizarre children's show videos featuring a Mickey Mouse ripoff and a giant bee that swings cats around by their tails at the zoo, Hezbollah has to make budget shooter games!

Can't be any worse than Super Columbine Massacre RPG, or whatever.

I don't know if this is funny or scary or poignant or...

But children sometimes have a disturbing tendency to see what's really there, and I do wonder if this game will backfire in a way... even if it does convince them that Israel is a problem that must be dealt with, maybe the next generation will grow up accustomed to battles being entirely virtual... would you really try to kill anyone whom you played Counterstrike against, instead of just trying to deal with the problem and your aggression in a virtual deathmatch...

We can hope, can't we? >.<

Taemojitsu, you can hope... but I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you.

J.theYellow, I think it IS worse than SCMRPG, because of the agendas behind these two games. One sets out to entertain, and maybe provoke thoughts about what caused that tragic incident, while the other is a propaganda tool designed to instill hate in children.

 

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