Christine Petré
Last updated: 9 December, 2013

Play the Iranian revolution

“Navigate the gritty world of a Revolution! Survive the streets and be aware of who you can trust in a city under siege,” goes the description of a video game portraying the Iranian revolution of 1979.

Its founder Navid Khonsari is a well-known game creator, residing in the US. His aim is to tell stories about his country of birth and in the process educate its players. When Khonsari was 10 years old his grandfather took him to the streets of Tehran so he could witness the beginning of his country’s historic moment. Khonsari has described the revolution, “a defining story for me.” Shortly after, in 1980, his family moved to Canada.

“The story is based on many historic truths which I think, if brought to light, will make people of all political backgrounds kind of take a step back and try to understand what took place,” Khonsari told Polygon in 2012.

The game has already received positive feedback from some of the big media outlets

The game will put you in the shoes of young photojournalist Reza in Tehran during the chaotic days of the revolution. Your character becomes a key actor in the ground movement overthrowing the monarchy but is soon betrayed by the new regime.

However, Khonsari’s project has come with a price as he is no longer allowed to visit his home country, “Today, Iranian newspapers have wrongfully called me a spy for the US government because I am making this game. This accusation means that I can no longer return to Iran to see family or expose my children to the rich and beautiful culture that has made me who I am.”

The game is to be launched in the spring of 2014 but is dependent on financial support and currently launching a fundraising campaign through the fundraising website Kickstarter.

According to the site some of the game’s key features contain an award-winning cast, including Navid Negahban who is playing Homeland’s Abu Nazir and Farshad Farahat, most recently seen in Argo. In addition, “1979 delivers premium console quality game play that is designed natively for touch screen design.”

The game has already received positive feedback from some of the big media outlets, such as CNN and BBC.

“Besides creating a raft of iconic and genre-defining games, Khonsari has the ideal pedigree for an undertaking this ambitious.” – CNN

“1979 is the next evolution in gaming.” – BBC