In a thought-provoking 1up piece which originally appeared in the September issue of Computer Gaming World magazine, Ed Halter surveys games with radical Islamic political themes. the recent war of game design themes between U.S. firm Kuma Reality and Iran's Union of Islamic Student Societies
Halter, author of From Sun Tzu to Xbox: War and Video Games reports on:
The Stone Throwers (screen shot at left), created by Syrian Mohammad Hamza, in which Palestinian rioters battle with Israeli riot police
The Resistance, a game published by Innovative Minds, a U.K.-based Islamic software firm, in which players assume the role of Hezbollah fighters in South Lebanon.
another Hezbollah-inspired game, "Special Force," a 3-D military shooter created by the "Hezbollah Central Internet Bureau" and perhaps modeled after America's Army
Syrian Afkar Media, publisher of Under Ash and Under Siege, which depict Palestinian youths fighting the Israeli occupation. Of the games, designer Radwan Kasmiya said, "The Arab street is very charged. They believe they can't do anything to help their brothers in Palestine. So I think they are playing because they feel that they can feel the experience of young Palestinian people living in Jerusalem."
Halter's excellent recap of how Islamic-themed games relate to the turbulent political situation in the Middle East is worth a full read. It was picked up by at least one mainstream media outlet - Fox News - this week.