It took a team of twenty more than two years to complete Mir Mahna, marrying traditional Iranian music with modern game development techniques, including motion capture. The end result is a first-person shooter that casts players in the role of members of Mir Mahna's army, taking on the Dutch with muskets, throwing knives, and cannons. It's no Battlefield 1766, but it certainly looks capable of readily engaging fans of the genre.


But the impact of Mir Mahna extends well beyond simple entertainment. During a ceremony honoring the game's creators earlier this year, Iran's Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini stressed the importance of computer games to the country's culture. "The inspiration of the computer game from national figures is a very auspicious event. It is necessary for us to introduce our heroes and luminaries to new generations."

In fact, Mir Mahna's creators believe the game could reach beyond the borders of Iran, introducing the culture of the country to the world at large. In an age where much of the world perceives the Middle East as a place to which troops are deployed and from which oil comes, any product with the power to provide a deeper understanding of Iran to other cultures is a welcome one.


And what better teaching platform than a video game? The interactive and immersive nature of games give them the power to break down cultural barriers far more readily that books or television. Experiencing an important moment in the history of Iran from the perspective of a warrior that was directly involved in the conflict can form a much stronger connection to the events than simply watching or reading someone else's story.

Perhaps Mir Mahna is the game that will cross these boundaries and make that connection, delivering a deeper understanding and appreciation of Iran to the world at large, and more than two hundred years after his defeat of the Dutch the Amir of Kharg can become a national hero all over again.