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By Popular Demand: Being a Gamer in *Gasp!* Iran


So, many of the comments on my first "hello thar!" post complained that I haven't said enough and they need more details about my "life". Well that's really sweet of you people but like many others, I have always struggled with describing myself. But I'll try.
As my blog description says, I live in Iran. It's a country between Iraq and Afghanistan (YaY! :|) and it's classified as a "Middle Eastern Third World Country". Well I disagree. Because they're really putting it politely.
I don't want to set fire to some of my Altruistic, Patriotic countrymen's beliefs but at least I have the balls to say that I live in a shit-hole dump where the only difference between it and Iraq is that we don't have some turf war going on between US soldiers and Taliban bastards. Nope. We don't need foreigners to **** up our country we can do it all by ourselves thank you very much.
BUT, I don't want to get all political and controversial here so I'm going to talk about what being a gamer in Iran is like: It's almost non-existent and what little there is, it's painfully primitive. Yes. We have game consoles here. We have magazines which review and preview video games (although 90% of them are just translated material from Gamespot.Com) and we do have some people who genuinely care about video games and take them as a serious medium of entertainment. But when you talk about Video games in public, after getting "video games?! HAR HAR!" looks and whispers, you'd probably hear a 5-year-old kid go: "Yeah! FiFA (WHATEVER THAT YEAR IS) is awesome!"
...and then there's silence.
Laws of Copyright don't exist here. so we buy our XBOX 360s pre-modded and we have to pay (sometimes) double for PS3 games (I paid an equivalent of $150 for MGS4, Uncharted 2 and FFXIII just to name a few). So almost everybody pretty much just buy a haXx0r'd 360 and buy illegal copies of games for $5 each.
Do I like this? well, TBH, yes and no.
Don't get me wrong, I feel obligated and would love to pay the standard price for a video game as it is paid around the world (although I've heard Australians have to put up with some crappy high prices too) but do I have a choice to do so? no. I can't order games from abroad because of sanctions and also because god knows how much extra I have to pay for an imported game from the States to my country. I'd love to support the industry. But we're not earning money in the US$ currency but our expenses are pretty much in accordance with the US$. Most of us are economically screwed.
The people who oblige themselves with such "classy" entertainment as video games are shunned and labeled by their society as "Spoiled, childish Retards who don't think about getting married when they're 20 years old and don't want to make lots of babies. A travesty and a shame for our families".
It's like being a fish in a lake where an oil tanker has just drowned and started leaking oil. I can see the dark, poisonous waters expanding more and more towards me and my fellow gamers but all we can do is back up into the clearer areas, hoping that the leak would just stop one day.
I have to buy illegal copies of video games because it IS the only way to play video games in this country. period.
Now just imagine how hard it must be to retain a dream to become a part of the video game industry where video games (along with any other activities which resemble fun, apparently) are considered taboo.
Here people look at video games like childish toys that only 9-year-olds would be interested in. Boys have to become "Men" when they're 15 and they should only "dream" about getting married, buying a house and making babies so they'd grow up and do the same. You know, the whole traditional thinking mud pool of mediocrity.
BUT nothing is impossible. I'll keep my chin up, I'll take my computer programming and Graphics courses (thank god we have those here) and I'll always play video games even though I'd feel guilty inside me every time I pop a copy game in my Modded 360 and have a voice at the back of my head yell "PIRATE!" whenever I read headlines about how piracy is dragging the video game industry down. But what can I say?
Video games have been my true love since my dad bought me my Atari 2600 when I was 8 (Thanks, dad!) and I haven't looked back ever since. Not even when I realized I live in a place like Iran.
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About Termadoyleone of us since 10:49 AM on 09.22.2010

Single player love all the way. Lovin' video games circa Atari 2600 and still going strong.