Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Islam: the video game

A new video game that recasts Islam in a positive light is the subject of a fascinating story in today's Christian Science Monitorwrites Bonnie Malkin.

A Syrian software company, Afkar Media, is producing al-Quraysh, a real time strategy game that tells the story of the first 100 years of Islam.

In the game, players can choose to command one of four Muslim tribes or lead the army of the warrior Khaled Ibn. To succeed, they must create and protect trade routes and water sources, build armies, fight and free slaves.

Afkar Media hopes the game will help to reverse negative connotations of Islam in the west and evoke new pride among young Muslims.

This is not the first time the company has turned computer games conventions on their heads. Last year it launched the controversial game Under Seige, which was inspired by actual Hizbollah missions.

Under Seige was criticised for simply reversing stereotypes, but its makers argued it aimed to redress the balance in a genre dominated by victorious US forces defeating Arab enemies.

No comments: