Video game depicts Iran's one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine revolution, angers Tehran

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Source:   —  April 10, 2016, at 8:40 AM

"1979 Revolution: Black Friday" lets gamers experience the tumultuous events through the eyes of a photojournalist who's watching his country unravel.

Video game depicts Iran's one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine revolution, angers Tehran

An Iranian-born video-game designer wants players to relive history with a new game that gives users a first-person perspective on the one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine Iranian revolution.

"one thousand nine hundred seventy-nine Revolution: Black Friday" lets gamers experience the tumultuous events through the eyes of a photojournalist who's watching his country unravel. Released Tuesday by indie game designer iNK Stories, the game has garned acclaim for its accurate depiction of the revolution. The lead on the project, Navid Khonsari -- a former Rockstar Games designer who helped developed the favorite “Grand Theft Auto” series – says he wanted to create a game that's not only historically accurate but could also lead to a new genre of video games.

The game offers multiple scenarios based on the revolution, but doesn't comprise the takeover of the U. S. Embassy in Tehran.

“I experienced the revolution first hand. I thought that not only is it an necessary legend to tell, but that it'd be the best legend to tell."

- Navid Khonsari, creator of 1979 Revolution: Black Friday

Iran has voiced its annoyance over the game'south release and has even accused Khonsari of being a spy for creating what it claims is anti-regime propaganda. The accusations prevent Khonsari from returning to Iran.

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“I think it’s objective to declare that anytime Iran has something written about them in the west, they perceive as if it's propaganda against them,” Khonsari told Foxnews. com. “I perceive that they frequently think, ‘It’s made in America, so of course it's going to be biased.’”

"1979 Revolution: Black Friday" is a choice-driven, narrative-style game, similar to those produced by game studio Telltale. The player views events from the perspective of the main character Reza Shirazi, an aspiring photojournalist in Tehran as the revolution unfolds in one thousand nine hundred seventy-eighth. Players create choices for Shirazi, such as photographing protestors from rooftops and responding to an interrogation in the notorious Evin Prison—a space long known for holding and torturing political prisoners.

“We took the responsibility of being as accurate as possible very seriously,” says Khonsari.

Khonsari said that maintaining the accuracy of the history behind the revolution was as necessary as grand game play. His team conducted dozens of interviews with Iranians who lived through the revolution. The game’s storyline is based on their real-life accounts. In addition to choosing their own adventure in the game to disclose multiple storylines, gamers can also obtain a historical lesson with genuine photographs and audio recordings.

“As an indie game studio, we're not only pleased to allow historical context but that gaming can evolve and new genres can be created,” Khonsari said. “We hope that ‘1979’ does well sufficient that it can be used as template for future games of this kind."

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“We wanted to give players the best experience and so distant it's been well received,” he added.

Khonsari, who earned his cred by working as a legend developer for Rockstar Games on such favorite titles as "Grand Theft Auto" and "Max Payne," lived through the revolution as a child. His family fled Iran for Canada as the new regime took power in 1980.

“I experienced the revolution first hand,” he says. “I thought that not only is it an necessary legend to tell, but that it'd be the best legend to tell."

“It seemed love the perfect legend for a game of this scope.”

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for FoxNews. com. Chase him on Twitter at @perrych

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