1979 Revolution is all about the decisions that players make during the revolution, and at times it feels more like a documentary than a game. It’s infused with true stories and real photos of the Iranian Revolution, as collected by creator and iNK Stories founder Navid Khonsari. Khonsari lived in Iran until he was 11, and his home videos and personal experiences are scattered throughout the game.
As a former Grand Theft Auto developer, Khonsari is well aware of the impact that video games can have on broader society, he told Engadget in October.
“I’m not saying games can provide world peace because there’s a lot of other parts that need to move, but they can actually start a conversation that goes beyond the single dimension of how countries, regions, people, politics and conflicts are being portrayed in single, five-minute news pieces that generalize an entire nation or group of people,” he said.
The United Nations agrees with Khonsari. The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization highlighted 1979 Revolution in a November paper about the ways video games can support peace education and conflict resolution.
“1979 Revolution: Black Friday is a distinctive example of how a digital game can explore the complex and ambiguous ethical dilemmas faced by individuals in a historically and culturally accurate zone of conflict,” the paper reads.
Iranian authorities banned the sale of 1979 Revolution in the country, claiming it is an “anti-Iranian” game. In response to the ban, iNK Stories translated the entire experience into Farsi. It’s now available in seven languages — English, Spanish, Russian, German, French, Turkish and Farsi — and all of these languages are accessible in the Android version.