Salman Rushdie fatwa becomes bizarre video game

salman rushdie fatwa becomes bizarre video gameIn what may be the oddest – and most off-color – video game news in some time, the 23-year-old fatwa issued against author Salman Rushdie has been turned into a videogame, in order to educate the next generation of Islam about the “sin” of writing The Satanic Verses.

The news was announced during Iran’s second International Computer Games Expo. Little is known about the content of the game, which is currently in development under the title of The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict, although it is believed that the player’s aim is to successfully carry out the death threat issued against the author by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 following the publication of the supposedly-blasphemous Satanic Verses.

The 1988 novel depicted the prophet Mohammad at first adding and then recanting verses in the Qur’an that, Rushdie’s narrator goes on to claim, were actually the creation of the Archangel Gibreel. As a result of what was considered to be a disrespectful depiction of Mohammad, the book was banned in 12 countries (India, Bangladesh, Sudan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Thailand, Tanzania, Indonesia, Singapore, Venezuela and Pakistan), and Rushdie denounced by Islamic leaders. A year after its publication, the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa demanding Rushdie’s execution for being “blasphemous against Islam,” and a bounty was placed on the author’s head as a result.

After nine years of the author being forced to live in hiding, the Iranian government finally appeared to withdraw the immediate threat in 1998, making a public commitment that it would “neither support nor hinder assassination operations on Rushdie.” Notably, however, the fatwa itself was never withdraw (Officially, fatwas can only be withdrawn by those that issued them, which is a problem for Rushdie; Khomeini died later in the same year that he issued the fatwa), and Islamic hardliners have repeatedly called for the writer’s death.

The game has apparently been in production for some time; students were actually asked to enter a contest to script the game three years ago, with the top three entries being given to developers to turn into the real thing, but little had been heard of the project since. Ahmad Khalili, the director of the student association behind the contest told the Fars news agency that the delay was merely a technical issue: “We usually don’t have any problems with initial thoughts and ideas, but when it comes to the actual point of production we experience delays,” he explained.

Some odd solace for Rushdie about the announcement can be found in the fact that he’s not alone; also announced at the same Expo was a game based on another fatwa, this time issued against rapper Shahin Najafi for releasing a song based around a religious figure. Clearly, fatwa games are big in Iranian gaming. All the thrills of a first person shooter, with a creepy extra thrill added by the fact that you’re actually chasing down someone real.

Gaming

From PUBG to Apex Legends, this is how battle royale happened

Battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds’ and Fortnite have become the biggest trend in video games. The genre is also pushing the envelope in Twitch streaming and eSports.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (March 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Netflix in March, from Buster Scruggs to Roma

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Movies & TV

Best new podcasts

Feel like you’re drowning in podcasts? In this weekly series we’ll help you pick out the best from the rest of the new and returning shows. This week’s picks include a culture clash and a death sentence.
Gaming

Here’s all the news from the Google Stadia GDC presentation

Google announced its new game streaming service Stadia during GDC 2019. Here is all the news from the event, including news on YouTube streaming and quickly accessing your favorite new games.
Product Review

4K and 144Hz? Yup, the Acer Predator XB3 will max out your gaming PC

The Predator XB3 isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you have a system that can push over 100 frames per second in 4K screen resolution, this monster of a monitor might be the perfect match for your overpowered gaming rig.
Product Review

The Division 2 brings the most fun we've ever had to Washington, D.C.

After 55 hours with The Division 2, it’s clear that Ubisoft has improved on the original in almost every way. The world is richly detailed, the story missions are wonderful, gunplay and enemy design are great, and the endgame content is…
Gaming

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.
Gaming

The best of the last generation: Our 50 favorite Xbox 360 games

The Xbox 360 thrived during a generation where games were plentiful. Here's our list of the best Xbox 360 games of all time, including all game genres and even a few special indie hits.
Gaming

The Division 2 is another loot shooter with a dull story. Does it matter?

The Division 2 has a story to tell. It's not a good story. It's not told very well. But by-golly, The Division 2 is going to make you sit your ass down and listen whether you want to or not.
Gaming

A new hope arrives as Disney revives the long-dead Lucasfilm Games

According to job listings on the Disney website, the company has plans to revive Lucasfilm Games. This comes as a surprise following the shuttering of LucasArts in 2013 and could potentially mean more Star Wars games.
Gaming

Last gen had some hits! Take a look at the best PS3 games of all time

Choosing the right PlayStation 3 game can be a conundrum, especially when there are nearly 1,500 titles to choose from. Thankfully, we've rounded up the best games to have ever made it to the platform.
Computing

Oculus shows off the Rift S, plans to phase out its original VR headset

Oculus plans to phase out its flagship Rift VR headset for its newly created Rift S. The Rift S made its debut this week at the 2019 Game Developers Conference and is expected to be released in spring 2019.
Deals

Hook up your Nintendo Switch with these deals on accessories right now on Amazon

The Nintendo Switch is a portable system with tons of accessories. The problem is, hooking it up doesn't come cheap. Every week, we look for the best deals on Nintendo Switch accessories on Amazon so you don't have to.