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Hezbollah releases video game to woo young players to its cause

The game is available on Windows and Android smartphones within a month and on sale for a mere $5 a copy

    Hezbollah have launched a new video game that lets players take the part of a militant fighter in an urban combat environment.

    The first-person shooter game, called Holy Defense, follows the same basic design as popular games such as Call of Duty, which are often played by gamers as young as eight or ten.

    The game was launched last month in at reception in Beirut.

    A press release announcing the game’s launch says Holy Defense is “not just a mere game, but a simulation aimed at documenting a stage of the holy defence facing the takfiri tide and confronting the American-Zionist project, chronicling the sacrifices made in this way.”

    Promotional still from the Holy Defense website
    Promotional still from the Holy Defense website

    The game recreates the Iranian-backed militia’s role in the Syrian civil war and allows the player to re-create key battles fought against Sunni militant groups.

    According to developer Hassan Allam, battle scenes were painstakingly recreated using photos the original locations in Lebanon and Syria.

    It is marketed to appeal to teenagers and can be bought online for just $5 (£3.56).

    A screenshot from the game
    A screenshot from the game

    This isn’t the first example of a video game used to help indoctrinate young players.

    Hezbollah released its first video game in 2000. Earlier examples, including ones where the opposition forces are clearly Israeli soldiers, can be found on the Shiite Muslim organisation's website, the Daily Mirror reported.

    The US military also launched a video game, called America’s Army, in 2013.

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