Most of us are told life is full of different obstacles which we will need to overcome; however, for Salim – an Arab fictional video-game character, these obstacles also include flying hooka pipes and hovering hummus plates!
His creators, a development studio in Beirut by the name “Game Cooks,” have also burdened Salim with a much bigger task: promoting peace.
In their soon-to-be-released video game, “Run for Peace” (out June 28), Salim has to travel the Arab World and pass through its iconic landmarks until a sign for peace is gradually formed.
Apart from the hookah pipes and hummus plates; Salim also has to dodge missiles, jump over oil fields and avoid electricity factories surrounded by water swamps.
Lebnan Nader, the “Game Cooks” general manager and a member of the creative team behind the game says that the project was conceived for a noble cause.
“We’re people that like to live and have fun in our lives”, he explains saying that the main objective is to promote peace and challenge stereotypes.
The five-man creative team has already launched a game called “Birdy Nam Nam” before their Game Cooks’s inception on January 2012.
But why focus on “peace” as a theme?
In a region hit by political crisis and notably the Arab Spring, an influence of that sort is inevitable to imbue the five game thinkers.
“We looked around, we saw the situation in the Arab region as an uncomfortable … all war, politics and sectarianism,” said Ariz Nader, designer of Salim, who had the option of dressing the hero as either a “punk” or in traditional Gulf Arab attire.
They conceived the idea of the game under the motto “Enough War…Let’s Play” and thus “Run for Peace” was born.
Game Cooks did not invest in a marketing scheme as such, and chose to test it on family and friends.
“They really liked the idea of using Argeela (hookah) and hummus [in the game],” said Nader.
The game will be available in Apple Store, iPad and iPhone, both in English and Arabic. The Android version will follow later.