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I am a first-person shooter nut. I’ve played them all -- from GoldenEye 007 to whatever the latest and greatest is. There’s just something really pleasing about hearing my weapon make the pops and pews as I take my enemies out.
In less than a minute of bristling, my mind was made up. I put the controller down, got up and walked away.
Yeah, it’s just a videogame -- but for me, it’s more than that. It just hits too close to home. This is an organization that’s terrorized Afghanistan, America and numerous other parts of the world for decades now. To me, playing as Al-Qaeda means I’m helping the bad guys win.
I’ve never been to Afghanistan, but I have family living there. I know how they’ve been affected during the Taliban’s rule. Anyone who’s read a newspaper in the last ten years knows of their injustices and crimes against humanity -- crimes committed under the guise of a view of Islam warped to fit their own twisted needs. It wasn’t until the US invasion in 2001 that things seemed to get better. It’s not puppies and rainbows for the country -- far from it -- but it’s better than it was under the extremist rule, at least.
Beyond my Afghan heritage, I cannot bring myself to play a representation of a group of people responsible for the events of September 11. I still remember, clear as day, seeing the second plane crash into the tower live on the news. The footage was so shocking that what I had actually witnessed didn’t even register to me until the following day.
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