Anti-fada Paratrooper
Michael Kuratin

Editor's Note: In response to the widespread popularity of Intifada Commando, Under Ash, and other pro-Palestinian games, the Israeli Ministry of Information is rumored to have released a competing video game to promote its point of view. Zeek Magazine obtained a pirated copy in Gaza City, and is pleased to present this review.

An armored personnel carrier rumbles across the cobblestones on your screen, the sound of shattering molotovs glass-clear and crisp in digital stereo. Apache whoop-whoops rise ominously as the choppers sweep down from the tenement line. You grit your teeth, thumb poised above your controller button. Before the missiles scream home, a final glimpse of the desert-red sunset, and two hooded figures scurry into the shadows of an alleyway. The shots find their sweet spot.

This isn't cable news, and the banner rolling across the bottom of your screen indicates your score has reached an all-time high. You completed your mission and earned bonus points for limiting civilian casualties.

Before you move on to your next mission, you pause to watch your screen engulfed in a sea of blue-and-white, the Seal of Solomon billowing and crackling as 'Hinay Matov u'Manayim' plays boisterously in the background. Your ethnic pride swells like a thick plume of smoke.

Welcome to the world of Anti-Fada Paratrooper, the new hyperreal battle-action game released earlier this year for Sony Playstation 2. Never heard of it? No surprise, given that the software sold out one month into its first million-unit production run. The mystery buyer: the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee, which just used the game as the centerpiece of its annual Purim campaign mailing. A second release is due in stores by the time summer vacation starts. So unless you know yourself some Jews, you're going to have to wait a little longer to play the game with combat sequences rendered so realistically that a "five-minute demo drove Ridley Scott to tears."

As it should. This is a game designed and tested by the uncontested experts in urban anti-terrorism: the IDF - Israeli Defense Forces. It will come as no surprise that the company behind the action, Gideon Game Logic (GGL) was, like many Israeli high-tech companies, spun out of the Jewish State's formidable military sector. Parent company Gideon Development received its seed-funding from the Israeli government, and now boasts on its board principals from some of New York's better-known Orthodox-affiliated private-equity firms, including Vayikra Ventures. This may explain the inclusion of religious minutiae that add to Anti-Fada Paratrooper's astonishing realism: tzitzit spilling out from under a soldier's flak-jacket, the warning-label on the packaging admonishing would-be couch-commandoes of the perils of entering into combat on Shabbat.

1       [2]       [3]       [next->]
Image: From Under Ash (also known as Under Siege), the new intifada game designed by Radwan Kasmiya at Dar Al-Fikr.

May 2003

Zeek in Print
Spring 03 issue available here

Shtupping in the Shadow
of the Bomb

Marissa Pareles

The Mall Balloon-Man Moment of the Spirit
Dan Friedman

Beats, Rhymes & Nigguns
Matthue Roth & Juez

Fish Rain
Susan H. Case

Anti-fada Paratrooper
Michael Kuratin

Josh Gets his Checkup
Josh Ring

Plague Cookies
Mica Scalin

The Ritual of Family Photography
Amy Datsko

about zeek