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This Iranian video game wants you to help keep George Floyd alive

  • 26 Nov 2021

The game, developed under Iran's Basij militia, requires users to overcome hindrances and enemies across 30 levels of difficulty.

The killing of 46-year-old Floyd in May 2020 sparked America's biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades. ( Reuters )

Iran's Basij militia has unveiled a video game whose hero is George Floyd, the Black man who was murdered by a white police officer in the US last year.

Iran's Saheb News, which is close to the Basij – a volunteer militia loyal to the establishment – said the game was presented on Tuesday during a digital production conference it held in Tehran.

"Today, the only place where the United States can still present its defeats as victories is on the internet," Basij head Gholamreza Soleimani, who was present for the event, was quoted as saying.

In the "Nejat-e-Azadi" (Defend Freedom) 3D game, developed by the Basij's IT department, the player must overcome obstacles and side-step enemies across 30 levels of difficulty.

The aim of the game should be to rescue Floyd from American police, a high ranking commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naghdi, told Iranian tv. 

"I thought if we want to have a message to the international audience, we should design a game in which Iranians free this oppressed American from under the knees of American police,” Naghdi said.

There are at least 32 million gamers among Iran's population of over 80 million, according to a report from the Iran Computer and Video Games Foundation.

George Floyd incident

The killing of 46-year-old Floyd in May 2020 sparked America's biggest demonstrations for racial justice in decades.

Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a 45-year-old white man, was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison for killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for nearly 10 minutes.

He and three colleagues had arrested Floyd on suspicion of having passed a fake $20 bill in a store in Minneapolis. They handcuffed him and pinned him to the ground in the street.

READ MORE: History with a dash of cynicism: Iranian solidarity with Black America

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