U.S. State Department Calls for Release of Game Developer Held in Iran for Spying

August 30, 2012 -

The U.S. State Department has called on the government of Iran to release Amir Mirza Hekmati, a game developer who was arrested and already stood trial once for being a spy for the United States government. Hekmati, who has dual citizenship in the both the United States and Iran and served in the United States Marines, works for Kuma Reality Games - a game studio that makes games about real-world conflicts.

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Duke Nukem Forever Developer to Activists: Have At It

February 24, 2011 -

Gearbox Software President Randy Pitchford is not worried about feminists or other activists groups taking issue with the company's saucy first-person shooter, Duke Nukem Forever - in fact he encourages them to use it to their advantage if it will promote their cause. Speaking to Eurogamer at length, Pitchford can see both sides of the issue when it comes to Duke's strong personality and questionable behavior.

"I'll tell you what, if some feminist organisation that is doing a great job advocating women's rights worldwide, which I think is really important, can get some advantage by using Duke... go for it," Pitchford told Eurogamer. "How is there a downside for humanity? Go for it. Take it. Use Duke. That would be awesome.

"If anyone can better our world through the use of anything, and if Duke is a tool to help them do that, that's fine," he added. "The people that are entertained... The choices people make are their choices."

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Saudi “De-Terroristing” Program Uses Videogames

February 5, 2010 -

friendsAn article in The Telegraph details Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s hope to leverage the influence of Saudi Arabian King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz in order to lure Taliban fighters back into normal Afghan society.

Karzai is banking on the King’s influence among Taliban leaders to realize his plan, which would also require a program to socially reintegrate the fighters. Saudi Arabia already boasts such a program to “rehabilitate” Islamic radicals, which reportedly uses "positive thinking" classes, art therapy and video games.

The U.S. has questioned the viability of the Saudi program in light of a group of graduates of the course returning to terrorism upon completion. In fact, The Telegraph reports that one specific graduate of the program is now a deputy Al-Qaeda leader in a Yemen cell, the same group purportedly behind the attempted bombing of a flight into Detroit on Christmas Day.

Saudi General Mansur al-Turki defended the program:

We are confident in our system. Part of that is the rehabilitation programme, and when we say that we are considering one thing - the results we are getting. We are not giving up because a few people decided to go back and share Al-Qaeda activities.

2 comments

Iran Wants to Join Global Video Game Market

August 21, 2009 -

This week's gamescom in Cologne has seen the first appearance of Iranian game developers at a Western game show, reports the BBC. Trade group the Iran National Foundation of Computer Games was also on hand with a booth.

Amir Tarbyatjoui, head of Parsan Business Development Solutions, acknowledged that the current political situation makes Iran's entry into the global game biz a challenge:

We need more investors. The [US] sanctions do affect our industry, but they cannot stop it.

We are using this event to promote what is happening in the Iranian games industry. We believe we have more potential and we want to promote that potential...

 

It is difficult given the relations between Iran and the USA. Certainly all of us here today will be at E3 next year, but there will not be a dedicated Iran stand such as you see in Cologne today.

Ras Games exec Bahram Borgheai told the BBC that Iranian culture has a unique mythology that has not yet been seen in video games:

Persia has been around for a very long time. What we have is something quite unique and we are using the event in Cologne to show that to the world.

GP: Where diplomacy has failed, can video games succeed in reconnecting Iran to the West?

Via: Iran Quest

15 comments

State Department Official Meets with Egyptian Students in Second Life

January 12, 2009 -

New World Notes reports that State Depatment official James Glassman (in avatar form at left) will hold a virtual meeting with student journalists in Cairo this morning.

Among other issues, Glassman, who serves as Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, is expected to field questions about the current Israeli-Hamas conflict in Gaza.

DIP's Dispatches from the Imagination Age reports that USAID is funding the event.

No Second Life account? Catch the video simulcast.

UPDATE: DIP has a video of the event.

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Ivresse@IronPatriot: Will you stop lumping TotalBiscuit into this whole Gamergate issue, it's lying numpties like you who make up your own bullshit to justify your hatred to begin with that screw the internet up in the first place...08/03/2015 - 10:49am
ZippyDSMleeMost social justice is great but some of it is so stupid it taints the whole thing into triple negatives. A shame most of the gamergate stuff is bad...the core ideals are not bad it just jumped the shark and the n ut cases came out of the wood work..08/03/2015 - 10:07am
ZippyDSMleeJim dives into the red ash controversy , http://www.thejimquisition.com/2015/08/1876/08/03/2015 - 10:03am
IronPatriotSeriously people, do not believe crap spread by those who think "social justice" is an insult or that its a good idea to join a movement created for harassment. Like your gamergate hero TotalBiscuit.08/03/2015 - 9:32am
IvresseSeriously people, do not believe the shit that the internet spreads about anyone, especially with the whole gamergate SJW crap colouring the issue to the point of stupidity08/03/2015 - 9:14am
Ivresse@Big Perm: Only to the morons that inhabit the internet. Also his wife is damn awesome, I bumped into her when I had to catch my train before TB's meet and sign session, she ran to find TB, got him to sign my mousemat, then ran back to give it to me.08/03/2015 - 9:13am
MechaTama31I dunno. I'd rather see new characters than see, for example, someone other than Bill Murray try to be Venkman.08/03/2015 - 9:10am
Big Perm@ Ivresse. Is true that TB eats puppies?08/03/2015 - 9:01am
MattsworknamePS: hudson played winston zedimore08/03/2015 - 7:24am
Mattsworknameinfo: the orignoal cast wasn't part of Star trek, but the charecters in the movie were the same charecters. Ghostbusters with out stance, ego, venkman, and Earnie hudsons charecter, whose name I forget for some reason , feels wrong to me08/03/2015 - 7:23am
PHX Corphttp://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/08/scathing_nikkei_report_hints_at_shameful_treatment_of_staff_by_dictatorial_konami_management Scathing Nikkei Report Hints At Shameful Treatment Of Staff By Dictatorial Konami Management08/03/2015 - 7:15am
IvresseJust finished with Coxcon 2015 last night (convention in the UK organised by Youtube Jesse Cox). Was a damn good weekend meeting Jesse, Totalbiscuit, Dodger etc. and getting to ask them questions and stuff.08/03/2015 - 6:15am
InfophileReference for my comment earlier about Dan Aykroyd in the new Ghostbusters: http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/jul/15/ghostbusters-call-dan-aykroyd-for-cameo08/03/2015 - 6:00am
benohawkI hope the new ghostbusters is good regardless, but I also expect it to have to surpass the orignal for people to acknowledge that.08/03/2015 - 1:37am
benohawkMecha, those changes are also some of the bigger complaints I've heard about the Abrams Star Trek movie.08/03/2015 - 1:35am
MechaTama31https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vU_D96AdK0M <-- Letterman interview with Bill Murray, he seems to have a similar opinion to mine about the pink-slime movie.08/02/2015 - 11:27pm
MechaTama31I don't think it's as big a deal as you think, matts. After all, JJ Abrams' Star Trek removed the original cast (mostly) and changed the formula significantly. If the movie is enjoyable, people will enjoy it.08/02/2015 - 11:23pm
MattsworknameDoc: Hope he recovers soon.08/02/2015 - 7:49pm
Matthew Wilsonhttp://www.pcgamer.com/what-directx-12-means-for-gamers-and-developers/#page-1 by Peter Thoman, and better known by the name Durante. he talks about dx12 in detail08/02/2015 - 7:45pm
DocMelonheadIGF's Chairman resigns due to cancer: http://igf.com/2015/07/letter_from_the_chairman_so_lo.html08/02/2015 - 6:46pm
 

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