Navid Khonsari, one of the creative forces behind the phenomenally successful Grand Theft Auto III and GTA: Vice City games, is working on a new video game called 1979: The Game which will be based on the events of the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
The trend in video games is for more complexity and “sand-box” gameplay where situations are open ended and the player is allowed to make choices that will impact the plot development and ultimately the conclusion of the game. Khonsari has been instrumental in this trend and in the merger of video games with movies. Games like Red Dead Redemption and the soon to be released LA Noire feel more like an immersive movie experience than what an average person would think of when they imagine a video game.
But saying “there are no good guys” as Khonsari does is going too far. Moral ambiguity is part and parcel of life but the 1979 Iranian revolution has no ambiguity. And thanks to the 20/20 perspective that hindsight provides us, we know exactly who was on the right side and who was on the wrong side.
In any case, this is an interesting development especially considering the reshaping of the Middle East taking place right now. Maybe in 30 year’s time we’ll have a video game about the Egyptian and Tunisian popular uprisings.