A newly announced Iranian videogame, The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and Implementation of his Verdict
, will allow players to impose the fatwā
execution that was recommended against Salman Rushdie by Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
The 65-year-old British Indian author became shrouded in controversy after the publication of his 1988 novel The Satanic Verses
, which caused great offense to the Islamic world due to its depiction of the prophet Muhammad. Shortly after, Khomeini declared a fatwā
requiring the author’s execution, which has continued to be reaffirmed over the years by more recent Iranian leaders.
Perhaps because they have so far been unable to carry out their sentence themselves, government-sponsored organisation – the Islamic Association of Students – have decided to create a videogame where gamers are able to execute the author.
Reports indicate that production of the game is well underway, although no release date has been announced yet.
"We usually don't have any problems with initial thoughts and ideas [for computer games], but when it comes to the actual point of production we experience delays," students association director Ahmad Khalili said
Not too long ago, Iran struggled to compete with the foreign market for video games, but recent years have seen it continue to produce and develop more of its own video gaming creations.
"We used to have only two weak [Iranian-made] games, but after the issue of computer games came on the agenda of the Council at the order of the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution [Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei] we developed around 140 games with Islamic and Iranian contents which can compete with foreign products," Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution secretary Mokhber Dezfouli said
Rushdie may have the honour of being the first author to be executed through a videogame, but he is far from the first personality to meet the same fate in the video game format.
When a Baghdad journalist attempted to throw their shoe at former US President George W. Bush, there was an influx of internet games which allowed internet users to have a shot at throwing their digital shoes at the President.
There have also been games allowing users to deposit a hard slap on the face of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as games which give players the chance to kill the (now dead) Osama bin Laden.