Why they waited until after the big E3 gaming conference this weekend is a mystery to us, but a group of hard-line Iranian students unveiled a new game on Monday called Rescue the Nuke Scientist. Designed by the Union of Students Islamic Association, the same folks that hosted a Holocaust denial conference, the game is apparently a response to Assault on Iran, which was created by a U.S. company, Kuma Reality, and centers around a mission involving an Iranian nuclear facility. In Assault, your goal, as the central player, is to “infiltrate the base, secure evidence of illegal uranium enrichment, rescue your man on the inside, and destroy the centrifuges that promise to take Iran into the nuclear age.” Assault has drawn criticism in the past, and now this student group has issued its own response, creating a virtual scenario in which players rescue two scientists from facilities in Iran and Israel. Its designers say it is meant to promote defense, sacrifice and martyrdom.
Oddly enough, Reuters is also reporting the debut of another new Iranian video game, a first-person shooter called The Special Operation based on the story of four Iranian diplomats kidnapped in 1982. No word yet on whether either game will be available on Nintendo’s Wii.—Gregory Mone