The reality of gaming in Iran: ‘We are fighting against censorship to be able to play’

Tel and I have some things in common. We both work by day, and play games by night (Tel’s game of choice is usually DOTA 2). Both of our jobs involve using a computer, so we both end up spending most of our waking hours sat in front of a screen. Unlike me, however, Tel is living in a country in the midst of revolution.

It is October 2022. The nationwide protests in Iran, which still continue to this day, began about a month ago. Such is the depth and breadth of the government’s counterattack against the protests, the effects have by this stage trickled down to something as relatively benign and inconsequential as videogames. Due to the increasing severity of the regime’s response—which by this stage (January 2023) has escalated to executing protestors—our interviewee has been kept anonymous (Tel is a pseudonym).

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