More than two decades after Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini sentenced renowned author Salman Rushdie to death over blasphemy in his book, Satanic Verses, a video game has been developed by a government-sponsored Iranian student body that intends to carry out the fatwa, but in the virtual world.
The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict is a computer game in the initial stages of development by the Islam Association of Students, designed to warn youth about the writer, who is a rather controversial figure among Islamists across the world.
Though the fatwa issued in 1989 was withdrawn by Iran's foreign ministry over a decade ago, the student organization floated the idea Tuesday at the country's second International Computer Games Expo.
The organizers considered the event as an opportunity to introduce Iranian culture, value and Islamic identity, and also a way to present Iranian products to international computer games designers and producers, Iranian television channel, Press TV, reported.
The new video game script was chosen from country wide submissions, after the students' association and Iran's national foundation of computer games called for scripts three years ago.
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Student association director Ahmad Khalili said that the production of the game was underway despite initial glitches, according to Fars News.
We usually don't have any problems with initial thoughts and ideas (for a computer games) but when it comes to the actual point of production we experience delays, he said.
The video game venture, according to the developers, was a way to combat the influence of Western invasion on Iranian culture.
We felt we should find a way to introduce our third and fourth generation to the fatwa against Salman Rushdie and its importance, Mohammad-Taqi Fakhrian of the student association told the semi-official Mehr news agency, as reported by the Guardian.
Little is known about the nature of the game though speculative reports predict Rushdie may dodge bullets, tackle a gang of assassins and battle for survival, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Presumably, the new video game will have Iranian youth chasing down and killing the author in the West, perhaps even on the very streets of New York, New York Daily News wrote.
Iranian Army's first ever video game Battle in Gulf of Eden, to display the Iranian Navy's mighty presence in the international waters and Navy commandoes' fight with the pirates in the Gulf of Aden, was unveiled earlier this month, according to a Fars News report.
The player of the game would be an Iranian commando, who fights and kills pirates in the Gulf of Aden and then finds and destroys their hideouts to finally kill the buccaneers' ringleader.