Author-journalist Norman Mailer once wrote: “Obsession is the single-most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.” Though the Iranian government may not like to dwell on this piece of advice from a novelist, an American at that time, the truth is that their obsession with Salman Rushdie defies logic.
Twenty-three years after issuing a fatwa against him for the Satanic Verses, the Iranians, it seems, are still obsessed with Rushdie. Meanwhile, the author, after coming out of hiding, has got on with life, love and work. This time round, the only fortunate part of the never-ending Rushdie obsession is that the Iranians are targeting him in the virtual world: The Islamic Association of Students — which is backed by the government — has come up with a computer game — ‘The Stressful Life of Salman Rushdie and the Implementation of His Verdict’. The main aim of the game, we are told, is to spread to the next generation the message about Rushdie’s “sin”.
However, the strange name of the computer game is not the only funny bit. This is what the director of the association had to say on why the game has not hit the market yet. “We usually don’t have problems with initial thoughts and ideas but when it comes to the actual point of production, we experience delays.” Now Rushdie will heave a sigh of relief to hear that Iranians are not good at implementing all their glorious aspirations.
While we make fun of Iran’s obsession, have you ever thought that Iran’s new way of tackling the enemy may be a great idea to make the world a more peaceful place. Instead of going for each other’s throats, maybe all feuding countries could build such video games to get even with their enemies. How about a new game called: Target PoK?