Navid Khonsari has been a legal resident of the United States for 17 years. He’s worked on games like Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Resident Evil 7, and an interactive story about the Iranian Revolution called 1979 Revolution: Black Friday. These days, though, he doesn’t feel entirely welcome in the US or Iran, and…
Usually, it's the characters in the video games themselves that have the code names. Agent 47. Solid Snake. The Illusive Man. But, here in real life, a young Iranian artist working on a game has fled his homeland and hides his identity, all so he can do the thing he's always dreamed of.
What does it take to be accused of espionage? For Navid Khonsari, all he had to do was start making a game about his homeland.
A writer with credits in Grand Theft Auto III, Max Payne and, later, Alan Wake is now working on an entirely different project, likely controversial in its own way: "1979: The Game," based on the Iran Revolution.