Friday, August 31, 2007

Aridi frets game simulating assault on Grand Serail

Aridi frets game simulating assault on Grand Serail
Daily Star staff

BEIRUT: A new online game whose theme revolves around the attack on the Lebanese Grand Serail and the killing of Cabinet ministers is being released, Al-Mustaqbal newspaper reported Thursday. Information Minister Ghazi Aridi said Thursday the game "is very dangerous and goes beyond the limits of pastime or entertainment. This is manipulative and targets the security and stability of the country." On Thursday, State Prosecutor Said Mirza requested an investigation and follow-up from the Central Bureau of Investigation into the game. Al-Mustaqbal said "the Web site is easily accessible, and offers a range of games that incites players to kill "military militia" that protect the Grand Serail and venture to invade it and demolish its officials by killing them one by one."

The player's goal in the game is to kill Premier Fouad Siniora and ministers at the Grand Serail, the newspaper explained. It said the game also offends March 14 Forces members and accuses them of being allied with Israel.Aridi said this kind of game leads to nothing but further hatred, disputes and division, and that this is something to be "rejected" and fought. He said: "I understand the need to inform our children on the victory against the Israelis and how we defeated the legendary Israeli fleet," in reference to "Special force 2," a game created by Hizbullah based on last year's 34-day conflict with Israel. "However to brainwash our children and train them on methods to invade the [Serail] and take revenge from this or that person, is a very dangerous phenomenon in approaching our youth and the upcoming generation," Aridi added. "This must be stopped."

March 14 officials say they consider the game proof of "political terrorism" which aims to derail the presidential election in September. The coalition also said its MPs viewed the matter as a crime, and requested action from the state prosecutor. Sports and Youth Minster Ahmad Fatfat said "this Web site game is a clear threat and a persistent message" and that "the ending of the game with the death of all residents of the Serail gives a clear impression on the thoughts of violence being cast among people." "This action is like political terrorism that plays a major role in assaulting the government," he added. "This hatred goes beyond natural forms of political disputes we are generally familiar with in Lebanon." - The Daily Star

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