Iran Sentences Game Developer To Death

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Iran Sentences Game Developer To Death

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Shortly after being detained, arrested, and accused of using videogames to spy in Iran, a U.S. game developer has just been sentenced to death.

Amir Mizra Hekmati was visiting Iran this past August when he was detained. He was subsequently put on trial by the Revolutionary Court, which specializes in trials against those accused of trying to overthrow the nation's government. He's just been sentenced to death because he was found guilty of charges that the CIA was paying him to make videogames that would affect public opinion on U.S. policies in the region.

Hekmati is a former U.S. Marine who became a game developer and was employed with Kuma Reality Games, working on a variety of titles for the studio. However, according to the Tehran Times, Hekmati allegedly confessed that "[Kuma] was receiving money from the CIA to (produce) and design and distribute for free special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure."

It's no secret that Iranian authorities don't harbor any love for Kuma, based on the company's track record. In 2006, CEO Keith Halper admitted that his company worked on training software for the U.S. Army, but never claimed that any other government organization was backing any other projects. Additionally, one of KumaWar episodes the company created was called "Assault on Iran" and required players to infiltrate an Iranian nuclear facility in order to grab evidence of illegal uranium enrichment and sabotage the country's atomic weaponry.

The White House has repeatedly denied that Hekmati either worked for the CIA or was sent to Iran by the organization. On top of that, the White House has been calling for his release ever since he was detained:

"Allegations that Mr. Hekmati either worked for, or was sent to Iran by the CIA are false," said Tommy Vietor, a spokesman for the White House's National Security Council. "The Iranian regime has a history of falsely accusing people of being spies, of eliciting forced confessions, and of holding innocent Americans for political reasons."

Iran's routinely been the country that everyone reads about and does a double-take, simply because the news that comes out of the area is insane. This is the place with a president who told an audience at Columbia University that his country doesn't have homosexuals. It's a nation where the government is at war with itself and the Supreme Leader is having the president's allies arrested on charges of sorcery and witchcraft. Now, it's going to execute a man because he made videogames.

Source: Tehran Times via Gamasutra

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No.
No.
No, no no no no NO!

This can't honestly be happening.

I feel like saying humans can't be capable of acts so stupid and hate-filled, but then I take a look at are history. Sorry for coming off as a pessimistic misanthrope, but this is disgusting to even think of people justifying this.

I'm speechless.

You know, I wouldn't really feel any pity towards Iran if they get hit by a crippling cyber attack sometime in the future.

Honestly, I'm not surprised. People from here are often kidnaped and sold for a higher price just because other countries hate us.

For some reason I feel like they will end up releasing him instead of going through with the execution. I know relations between the US and Iran aren't great, but I don't think they'd kill an American citizen for something like this. Then again, I could be wrong.

Ldude893:
I'm speechless.

You know, I wouldn't really feel any pity towards Iran if they get hit by a crippling cyber attack sometime in the future.

Attack commencing in 3 .... 2 .... 1 ....

I wonder if the US would have a problem with Anon anymore if they crippled Iran's networks, shut down their nuclear ambitions, and bankrupted the Revolutionary Court?

I think Iran is gonna get a very rude welcome to the 21st Century with this one.

Well this is terrible.

Honestly that's all I have to say about it, it's so terrible I can't even get worked up at it. It's like one of those awful jokes you hear, but then the punchline doesn't come and you realize it wasn't a joke.

Did that fiasco with the hikers teach people ANYTHING? I don't care if your Grandma in Tehran is on dialysis: If you are american and you like having your head on your shoulders, STAY THE FUCK OUT OF IRAN!

vansau:
He's just been sentenced to death because he was found guilty of charges that the CIA was paying him to make videogames that would affect public opinion on U.S. policies in the region.

The level of Irony is almost too sickening to be funny.
After watching all the condescending, shortsighted, chauvinists trying to out Reagan/ Patriotic each other in the Republican primaries, it's almost comforting (in a pessimistic sort of way) to know that my fellow Americans aren't they only ones with their heads up their ass

Dear Humanity

Please stop doing needlessly cruel and stupid shit. It's getting a bit depressing.

Thanks.

Thirty years ago this would have been enough to start a war. You can't expect to keep pulling foreigners off the street and sentencing them to death.

I say we have less than ten years before Iran agitates the US into a war with them. They need to quit this shit before the US declare them a threat and steam rolls them like we did when Hussien was in power.

Zhukov:
Dear Humanity

Please stop doing needlessly cruel and stupid shit. It's getting a bit depressing.

Thanks.

Relevant:

The whole of humanity consists of one long war; we just prefer to divide them all into chunks so we can look upon the history of humankind with a bit of sadness as opposed to total disgust.

Basically, this story is 'Humans gonna Human'. People have been killed over less than what this guy was accused of.

Shock level is coming in at a record breaking zero percent.

vansau:
Hekmati is a former U.S. Marine who became a game developer and was employed with Kuma Reality Games, working on a variety of titles for the studio. However, according to the Tehran Times, Hekmati allegedly confessed that "[Kuma] was receiving money from the CIA to (produce) and design and distribute for free special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure."

Hard for me to have so much sympathy for the guy, tbh. I know what we're doing is probably for a good cause, and just so I can get this out of the way, I DON'T support this guy getting the ax for doing the thing he was commissioned (and most likely loves) to do.

At the same time, though, he was intentionally misleading the public with propaganda to support a message that is basically going against the government. Just so I can also get this out of the way, I'm ALL FOR getting the message out and enlightening these people, but I'm not exactly inclined to support intentionally misleading propaganda, even if it does have good intentions.

Still, that doesn't mean I DON'T feel sorry for the guy. Sure, he may be attempting to disrupt the government, but the most I'm getting out of it is "The US is not as bad as you guys think the government is saying they are." This is something that would justify an immediate deportation, but execution? That's just sickening, and I still do support everyone here on the Escapist when I say that Iran is just being mean-spirited and cruel in this.

PROPORTIONATE retribution here, Iran. You're not winning any friends here.

"We will give him a fair trial, find him guilty and have him executed."

Now, I see two possible outcomes here.

1. Iran makes a "magnanimous gesture" and frees him on "goodwill" in order to score karma points with the international community. Mr. Hekmati is returned home, gets a few moments in the limelight and a secret dressing-down from the State Department for going to Iran.

2. Iran follows through on the execution of an American citizen. Copious amounts of excrement hit the ventilation device. Expect AT LEAST heavy sanctions, and just maybe the military strike on Iran that the Republican Party has been craving for years.

The main factor here is whether or not the Ayatollah is finally feeling bold enough to piss on America's shoes.

If this man's life wasn't on the line here, I'd fine this hilarious.. but given all of Iran's recent sabre rattling, I'm not seeing this ending well at all. I hope things work out for the guy but I don't know that I'm holding my breath. :(

ThunderCavalier:

vansau:
Hekmati is a former U.S. Marine who became a game developer and was employed with Kuma Reality Games, working on a variety of titles for the studio. However, according to the Tehran Times, Hekmati allegedly confessed that "[Kuma] was receiving money from the CIA to (produce) and design and distribute for free special movies and games with the aim of manipulating public opinion in the Middle East. The goal of the company in question was to convince the people of Iran and the people of the entire world that whatever the U.S. does in other countries is a good measure."

Hard for me to have so much sympathy for the guy, tbh. I know what we're doing is probably for a good cause, and just so I can get this out of the way, I DON'T support this guy getting the ax for doing the thing he was commissioned (and most likely loves) to do.

At the same time, though, he was intentionally misleading the public with propaganda to support a message that is basically going against the government. Just so I can also get this out of the way, I'm ALL FOR getting the message out and enlightening these people, but I'm not exactly inclined to support intentionally misleading propaganda, even if it does have good intentions.

Still, that doesn't mean I DON'T feel sorry for the guy. Sure, he may be attempting to disrupt the government, but the most I'm getting out of it is "The US is not as bad as you guys think the government is saying they are." This is something that would justify an immediate deportation, but execution? That's just sickening, and I still do support everyone here on the Escapist when I say that Iran is just being mean-spirited and cruel in this.

PROPORTIONATE retribution here, Iran. You're not winning any friends here.

Uhh you realize that the people who are holding him captive are saying that he allegedly said all this, right?
I underline it for you in your post.
Seriously, fine reading before you go off on the poor guy.

Kopikatsu:

Zhukov:
Dear Humanity

Please stop doing needlessly cruel and stupid shit. It's getting a bit depressing.

Thanks.

Relevant:

The whole of humanity consists of one long war; we just prefer to divide them all into chunks so we can look upon the history of humankind with a bit of sadness as opposed to total disgust.

Basically, this story is 'Humans gonna Human'. People have been killed over less than what this guy was accused of.

Shock level is coming in at a record breaking zero percent.

Sad but true. I can't even look at things like this with shock anymore, its more "lets see what asinine abomination is going on today... meh that's it? Slow day."

The Rogue Wolf:
"We will give him a fair trial, find him guilty and have him executed."

Now, I see two possible outcomes here.

1. Iran makes a "magnanimous gesture" and frees him on "goodwill" in order to score karma points with the international community. Mr. Hekmati is returned home, gets a few moments in the limelight and a secret dressing-down from the State Department for going to Iran.

2. Iran follows through on the execution of an American citizen. Copious amounts of excrement hit the ventilation device. Expect AT LEAST heavy sanctions, and just maybe the military strike on Iran that the Republican Party has been craving for years.

The main factor here is whether or not the Ayatollah is finally feeling bold enough to piss on America's shoes.

you know i can see a third option

3. about 4 hours before hes to be exicuted Israili comandos break him out and blow up alot of buildings.
seriously if Iran really wants a war with the US this may do it.

Why dont we trust these people with nuclear power plants again?

Oh yea, this shit.
People still think that Iran wants a peaceful existence in the world and they do everything in their power to stir shit up.

Fuck them.

On the one hand it's hard to feel bad for an American who gets captured in Iran. You don't have to be a genius to know that country isn't safe.

On the other hand it's hard to look the other way while one of our countryman is put to death by a bunch of religious tribal nutjobs.

razer17:
For some reason I feel like they will end up releasing him instead of going through with the execution. I know relations between the US and Iran aren't great, but I don't think they'd kill an American citizen for something like this. Then again, I could be wrong.

My thoughts exactly. Not to make light of the man's situation, I but really doubt Iran has the balls to go through with this. I believe it's just the leaders fluffing their feathers, saying, "We're still in control here." They may keep the man for a long time--like they did with those poor hikers--but I doubt they'll execute him.
And if they do...the wrath they will bring down upon themselves. This man is associated with video games. I'm not sure Iran understands what that means, but I bet they'll find out real fast.

funny how that place is shrouded in news propaganda, and we're so easily swayed and influenced by our own news and media.

"Iran fucking sucks and is killing people"

"DEATH TO IRAN RAAAVGGHHHH"

makes you wonder if it isn't just one side that is doing the manipulating. hmmmmmmmm...

I thought we all agreed to keep out of Iran.
They don't like us and we don't want our lives to be bargaining chips between countries.

Feel sorry for the guy :/

I'm no genius when it comes to the history between Iran and the US, but for those who've played the (free) game; Cat and the Coup. Doesn't that mean that it's pretty much the CIAs fault for the current government being as they are?

You have got to be fucking kidding me...

Well Iran, if you have the fucking balls to do it than you deserve the shitstorm that's going to go down because of it. Anonymous being the least of your problems as I'm pretty sure they'll act upon this...

Something like this would have caused a war about 30, 40 years ago, but nowadays, I'm not so sure it will do more than upset a few politicians.

Not to be arrogant, but the fact that he's American should have been enough for Iran to say "maybe killing this guy is a bad idea and we should get him out of our country"

Still, Iran is going to get hit with a shitstorm here in the next decade if they don't back the fuck off.

Has anybody seen Babylon 5?

An episode or two comes to mind.

They aren't executing him just because he made video games. If what they say is true, the fact that they are only executing him is kind of getting off light. Like someone above me said, stuff like this used to start wars.

GreatTeacherCAW:
They aren't executing him just because he made video games. If what they say is true, the fact that they are only executing him is kind of getting off light. Like someone above me said, stuff like this used to start wars.

Key phrase there is "if what they say is true." Iran has a history of eliciting false confessions or just making them up. They also refuse to allow the guy to meet with legal counsel via the Swiss embassy, which represents US interests in Iran.

vansau:

GreatTeacherCAW:
They aren't executing him just because he made video games. If what they say is true, the fact that they are only executing him is kind of getting off light. Like someone above me said, stuff like this used to start wars.

Key phrase there is "if what they say is true." Iran has a history of eliciting false confessions or just making them up. They also refuse to allow the guy to meet with legal counsel via the Swiss embassy, which represents US interests in Iran.

I guess we never will know, will we?

Let this tragedy be a lesson to you: don't visit drawkcab ssa countries that think they're still in the dark ages.

FOR. ANY. REASON.

Yup, sentencing an American game developer to death will definitely sway public opinion in their favor!

Honestly Iran, do you have no subtlety? By overreacting like this you lose public favor and you look bad. Which mean that even if the accusations are true, this game developer will still meet his goals (sway public opinion). The appropriate response Iran should have had was to leave him alone and develop counter videogames, this way they end up with less egg on their face.

This is Iran. Back in the 80s, we were far more worried about them than Iraq.

Given what's happening in Egypt, Syria and Turkey though...

The_root_of_all_evil:
This is Iran. Back in the 80s, we were far more worried about them than Iraq.

Given what's happening in Egypt, Syria and Turkey though...

Turkey? I think you meant Libya, there is no revolution in Turkey ;)

Jingle Fett:
Yup, sentencing an American game developer to death will definitely sway public opinion in their favor!

Honestly Iran, do you have no subtlety? By overreacting like this you lose public favor and you look bad. Which mean that even if the accusations are true, this game developer will still meet his goals (sway public opinion). The appropriate response Iran should have had was to leave him alone and develop counter videogames, this way they end up with less egg on their face.

You see, this is what they want, they want attention, not to look good, they see this as their chance, the US is having money problems, what better time to pick on Ol' Sam than now?

double post ~.~

I feel badly for the guy, as our government is shady and lacking in credibility at best, and horrendously manipulative and self-serving at worst. While he probably felt he was doing the right thing, he was probably convinced to do it just to further some asshole's political agenda, not the greater good.

I'd like to be wrong, of course, but it's not where I'd put my money if I were a betting type.

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