Iran  Tagged Articles RSS Feed | Iran  RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Pokemon Say It Ain't So! Pokemon GO banned in Iran. Sun, 07 Aug 2016 13:36:52 -0400 Alex Anderson_0905

According to the BBC, Pokemon GO has been banned in Iran due to “security concerns”. While many countries have expressed concern with the game’s global data access, Iran is the first country to ban the game entirely.

Last month, Iranian authorities offered to see how developer Niantic Inc. would work with country’s restrictions on internet use before banning the game altogether. The ban is aimed at promoting the safety of children as well as the security of the country.

This isn’t the first run-in the Pokemon franchise has had with Middle Eastern government. In the early 2000s, Pokemon cards were banned for promoting non-Islamic symbols and ideals to children. These were thought to “possess the minds” of children.

There have been several security issues in other countries regarding Pokemon GO, such as:

Iranian Media Mistakes Medal of Honor Sniper Footage for Real War Footage Mon, 22 Feb 2016 05:26:19 -0500 Alec Pearce

In a hilarious blunder by Iranian television, a video that shows gameplay from Electronic Arts 2010 reboot of Medal of Honor has been mistaken for actual war footage. 

French news network, France 24 were the first to recognise the mistake stating that the video was not, in fact, a crack Hezbollah sniper killing several IS militants. Their article noted that Iran's news networks were:

...awash with titles like "Hezbollah sniper kills Daesh combatants", "Hezbollah sniper hunts down Daesh brutes” and "Six Daesh combatants are killed in 2 minutes by a Hezbollah sniper.”

France 24 also stated that Mizan News, which is closely associated with the Iranian army, added details that the "alleged Hezbollah commandos were using the Arash, a 20-calibre anti-material rifle made in Iran."

It is clear from the footage that the video is a fake as it is easy to spot the tell-tale signs of MoH's HUD and the 'Headshot' symbols that pop up when you snipe an enemy in the game. The only thing that was changed from the game footage was the contrast.

This is not the first time something like this has happened either. In 2015, an Egyptian news agency utilised Apache: Air Assault gameplay to show the effectiveness of Russia's air power against IS militia.

American game developer freed from Iranian prison after over 4 years of captivity Sat, 16 Jan 2016 11:10:45 -0500 David Fisher

After over 4 years of captivity in Iran, Amir Hekmati - a former U.S. Marine and video game developer - has finally been released. The Iranian-American man was in the process of serving a 10-year prison term that had been reduced from a death sentence -- this after being charged of espionage against Iran. His family -- as well as the U.S. government -- had long denied Hekmati's involvement in espionage operations, and constantly filed pleas for his release. After such a long struggle, as of January 16th, 2016, Amir is now a free man according to an Iranian news report.

Hekmati was once a consultant for the video game company Kuma Reality Games, a New York company that is best known for first-person shooter apps for Android and iPhone. However, in the December of 2011, a video was released where Amir Hekmati was shown "confessing" that Kuma Reality Games was in fact a propaganda wing of the U.S. government. Amir had already been arrested in the August of that year by Iranian authorities, while his family maintained that his visit to the country was simply to visit is grandparents.

In reality, the accusations against Amir could not be further from the truth. According to the contract made with Kuma Reality Games in 2009, Amir's team simply developed a software application to aid U.S. soldiers in language retention. The $96,000 grant had nothing to do with espionage or Iran at all, and the description of the work matches up to the claims of his family and the U.S. government.

As of Thursday, January 14th, 2016, Amir had been admitted to an Iranian hospital to receive treatment for a lymph node issue that likely developed during his imprisonment.

According to the aforementioned Iranian news account, Hekmati is part of a swap deal that involves three other Iranian-Americans in exchange for six imprisoned Iranian-Americans currently being held for sanctions-related issues. One of the exchanged persons is Washington Post reporter, Jason Rezaian, who Iran had also accused of being a spy despite denials by himself and his employer.

Iran Hosting League of Legends Tournament, Female Champions Banned Wed, 28 Aug 2013 17:55:53 -0400 Wokendreamer

What do all the champions above have in common? They are all female champions from League of Legends, and all but two of them are banned in the upcoming tournament in Iran.

Efforts to get the game playable in Iran might finally be finding some success, but according to translated posts on Iran's World Cyber Games Facebook page, the female champions are going to be heavily banned for their revealing attire.

How heavily, you ask?

The only female champions in the game who will be playable are Annie and Anivia.

Admittedly, since the original post went up there has been a new one listing out Diana, Fiora, Karma(in her traditional skin), Kayle, Leona, Lissandra, Lulu, Lux, Nami, Quinn, Sejuani, Tristana, and Vayne as being under consideration for allowing into the tourney.

Riot Games is not famous for having the least sexualized characters in its game. People much less strict than the Iranian government have criticized many of the female champions for their 'armor' and similarity to one another.

My question is not about the right or wrong nature of the choice banning, which is Iran's right whether I agree with it or not, but what effect those bans will have on the game itself. Most games have six bans total; in this event players will be starting with 36 characters banned out, before ever making their own bans.

At the very least this list of banned champions drastically reduces the options for support champions by eliminating Sona, Soraka, Lulu, Zyra, Janna, Nami, Nidalee, Karma, Lux, and Morgana. That leaves Alistair, Blitzcrank, Thresh, Taric, and Nunu as playable supports. This means with six bans, it is entirely possible to see literally every support in the game (Zilean doesn't count) banned from play, leaving bot lane in a weird place.

It is entirely possible to see literally every support in the game (Zilean doesn't count) banned from play, leaving bot lane in a weird place.

Iran will need to invent its own meta, that is for sure.

While I would obviously prefer such a new meta to arise from the players themselves and not from hideously restrictive governmental requirements, it could actually force players to think in new ways. If Iran winds up with its own professional teams, whether or not they will be allowed to play in international events will raise a multitude of questions. Whether they can deal with the champions they never see and whether the rest of the world can deal with teams who have to redefine their own meta could make for some exciting gameplay.

What do you think the bans would do to League of Legends' metagame?