A Peek Into the 1979 Iranian Revolution Video Game

A Grand Theft Auto director wants gamers to grapple with moral ambiguity

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The Grand Theft Auto video game series tends to conjure up thoughts of crime and car chases, so it's a bit surprising to learn today that the next venture for series co-director Navid Khonsari will take place in Iran during the 1979 Iranian Revolution. Khonsari, who was growing in Iran during the heady days of the hostage crisis at the U.S. embassy and the overthrow of the dictatorship, tells CNN he's designing "1979" (tagline, "There are no good guys") to help people "understand the incredible moral ambiguity of this story." In the game, which is still in development, the player starts by sneaking into Iran as an American/Iranian translator trying to rescue the American hostages, only to morph into a student demonstrator who opposes both the deposed dictator and the radical Islamic elements emerging. "You'll have some extreme choices to make when you get to Tehran," Khonsari explains. "Are you going to invade the embassy, guns blazing, to try to get the hostages back? Or are you going to try to protect the embassy from the Americans?"

Khonsari says he envisions "1979" as the first in a franchise of games that explore CIA operations in the 70s and 80s in countries such as Panama and Libya. The tagline for the first installment game? "There are no good guys." You can read about the game in greater depth here.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.