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A virtual War of Freedom in Kashmir

By Sadiq Ali

Srinagar
Aug 05, 2006:

war of freedom
A 12th standard student Afaaq Ahmad Shah rammed an explosive laden car into Badami Bagh cantonment gates in Srinagar, in April 2000. Soft spoken son of a retired professor Afaaq became the first local fidayeen in Indian administered Kashmir where most of the suicide bombers have been foreigners.

In the conflict ridden region, a number of Kashmiri youth are following Afaq's footsteps today, though in a virtual world. Some get killed in combat with troops and paramilitary forces while others rock the opposition.

All this happens in War of Freedom, a virtual 3D game getting popular in Kashmir these days.

A variant of another computer game with somewhat similar title, the USP of War of Freedom lies in the names of targets, which comprise of vital security installations and camps in Kashmir including the Badami Bagh cantonment in Srinagar.

This five-staged game starts with grenade throws, followed by crossfire's and eventually culminates with the dreaded Fidayeen attacks, quite common in the conflict-ridden region.

"War of Freedom is like reality, it has vital security installation within the state as targets, which includes fortified army cantonment of Badami Bagh," says S J Ahmad, 18, who purchased the game for a whopping INR 1500.

"This is just an outcome of the happenings of the last two decades," he adds.

The game gives players options of being a Fidayeen or a suicide bomber.

"In conflict zones such things sell and that was the reason what we came up with War of Freedom," says Shabir (name changed), an IT engineer and the brain behind the game.

Shabir along with his four colleagues took six months to develop software for the game.

"All of us now work in the Middle East and we have shared the game with our friends over there besides, in India and Pakistan," he said.

Shabir reveales that the War of Freedom has borrowed immensely from another computer game with somewhat similar title.

"The original game is regarding Vietnam depicting American aggression of the country but in our game we have changed installations with installed name plates to attract Kashmiri youth," He says.

While Afaaq Ahmad Shah the first Kashmiri Fidayeen embraced death, warriors of War of Freedom can emerge victorious without getting hurt.

"It gives me a rush in the adrenalin and everything ends over there. No injuries no risks. " says Mohammad Rafiq, a youth who has spends hours together playing War of Freedom since he bought it in june.

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Kashmir Newz Specials
Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

Click here to read this story. For reproduction rights contact Kashmir Newz Desk

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