Want to live through the Iranian Revolution? There's a game for that

Iranian-Canadian video game producer Navid Khonsari mixes blockbuster style entertainment, social education, and family history in 1979 Revolution.
1979 Revolution is a hybrid video game, which contributes to the promise of gaming as a tool for social education. (Brad Barket/Getty Images for Producers Guild of America)

The game 1979 Revolution is a hybrid, entertaining as it informs and engages audiences with the sensation of being immersed in the history of the Iranian revolution.

Iranian-Canadian game producer Navid Khonsari has brought his work close to home with this one. His family actually experienced the revolution — a fact which is featured throughout the game with subtle touches, like personal photos as part of a room's decoration. 

1979 Revolution is a choose-your-own-adventure game, letting the player decide how they want to approach such a tense situation. Khonsari breaks the choices down into two major camps — passive or aggressive — but adds that the game focuses on all the small decisions that "make up the fabric of who we are."

Dare you accept a cup of tea offered by an interrogator in prison?

"What you think is a subtle or insignificant decision has repercussions," Khonsari tells Shad, "...the tea is one thing, but [so are] conversations you have with people — the conversations you're going to have with your parents at the dinner table...with their own differences, even though you are a family."

WEB EXTRA | Check out the trailer for 1979 Revolution, which follows 18-year-old Reza who has just returned home from studying abroad. 


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