About a week ago something happened that made me very happy. I received an email from a person named Ali Nazifourpour thanking me for translating and publishing articles he wrote years ago on GameFAQs. Here's what made me happy.
If you follow the BingMag Meg game section, you probably know that we translate and publish the top ten gamefax listings from time to time, as some of these listings - Even though GameFax users wrote them, not professional writers - they are, in fairness, of acceptable quality and an excuse to get acquainted with valuable games from a unique point of view. But of all the Gamefax writers, the only one who caught the attention of both me and Amir Hossein Mirzaei (the secretary of the game section) was a user named Nazifpour. The content that this user wrote was so good that we decided to translate whatever list of them is available in GameFax. There are only a handful of people in the gaming arena whose work I accept so much that I am willing to translate whatever they publish just because of their names: Mark Brown, Yahtze Croshaw, Adam Millard, and Adam Millard. An unknown GameFax user named Nazifpour!
We guessed from this user's name that he probably had Iranian roots, but we did not think he was actually a resident of Iran itself, because of the range of knowledge and experience in these lists. The top ten waves were far beyond the collective experience of gaming in Iran, especially for someone who has not mastered the subject.
I was curious to write them. I was wondering how it was possible for someone to write such good stuff in a dusty spot on the Internet - the archive of GameFax's top ten listings - and then disappear? (He has not been online since 2014). I did a bit of searching and then found a LinkedIn page of a person named Ali Nazifapour who had written an article on GameFax in his resume. I made sure on this page that I had found the author of this article, only from this page I realized a point that made me think: he was an Iranian living inside Iran itself.
On the one hand, I was happy that such quality content was written by an Iranian; But on the other hand, I was upset that I was translating the content of an Iranian - who probably wrote it for free - and getting paid for it. In the field of translating foreign material, we can justify it to ourselves that our world and theirs are very different, our currency is very different in value, and they probably will not care what happens in Iran and what is published. But these arguments - right or wrong - did not work for another Iranian.
We would have liked to contact Mr. Nazifoupour and invite him to appear on the BingMag podcast or even give an interview. . But honestly, I was worried about not getting good feedback on exploiting their content. That's why I never sent this message. I stopped translating his articles shortly after realizing this.
I think you understand the reason for my happiness now. Mr. Nazifapour stated in his e-mail that not only was he not complaining about this case, but he was happy that his content had been revived in some way. After receiving this email - which took a heavy toll on me - I explained everything I had said above and asked for an interview. He also accepted. In the following, we will get to know Ali Nazifapour more from his own language:
1. Please tell us a little about yourself. About your education, job and path in life.
Hello dear readers. I used to study English literature, which was my first bachelor's and master's degree in this field - from Allameh Tabatabai and Shahid Beheshti Universities. But then, for some reason, I became very interested in the situation in Iran in the international environment, and this caused me to change my major and enter the field of international relations. I got a second master's degree from the University of Tehran, and now I am a doctoral student at the same university and in the same field. In addition to my education, I was a language teacher for many years, and for several years I was a translator in the International Relations Office of Shahid Beheshti University, and I was also active as a researcher in foreign policy think tanks. My master's thesis won an award at the Farabi Festival in 1400, which has already been published in a wider form in the form of a book - entitled Exceptionism and Foreign Policy - published by Kavir. This is my educational and professional background. Of course, although I am currently active in the field of international relations, my interest in literature and Video games has not diminished and I hope to publish a novel one day.
2. From what age to What was your
passion for Video games and what attracted you to it? But he
was quite serious from the first year of his bachelor's degree,
when he was 19 years old. That year, my parents bought me a PS2
console, and I was finally able to play the classic games of this
console. Metal Gear Solid 2 and Silent Hill 2 were games that
completely changed my attitude towards Video games and
convinced me that games could be just as valuable as classic novels
and movies, and that other games were not just fun for me, they
were serious about them. I looked.
3. Your 32 top list for the GameFax site, each averaged 4000 words are heavy analytical content. Compiling these lists will definitely take a lot of your time and energy. What was your motivation for writing them? Was there a guarantee of gaining credibility and credibility or did you just do it for yourself? Other than that, did this content give you positive feedback? For example, did an English-language site offer you a collaboration?
My goal was two things: one was that the writing itself was a lot of fun in itself and therefore not a hassle; They were considered entertainment. Secondly, because at that time I wanted to analyze the games from the point of view of the schools of academic criticism in my field. And writing this material for Gamefax was a practice for this type of writing, because I certainly did not intend to start writing in the form of a scientific article from the beginning, so I decided to write my initial exercises in the media, as well as feedback from other people who are concerned and They watch my Video carefully and I get it.
My content had very successful feedback. In the same years, I and a group of other GameFax users set up a site called Gaming Symmetry, and the content of that site received very good feedback. The best part was that I saw a university professor put one of my articles on that site in his curriculum for his students to read. Unfortunately, this website is not online right now and I do not know if its contents have been saved or not, but there were several dedicated articles that I no longer have access to. Specifically, a site did not offer me to write to them.
4. In your lists, you mentioned games that were not only unknown in Iran, but also difficult to find based on the available evidence. Games like S3, Final Fantasy 6 or Xenoggers . Did you play these games with the simulator or did you really find them physically on the market and play them on the console? In general, tell us a little about the conditions of your game in Iran. (For example, in what years did you play, what were your resources for producing games and consoles, in which Iranian game communities were you a member - Of course if you were)
I have only had three consoles in my life, Sega Genesis, PS2, and PS3. I played all these old games with the emulator and on the PC. Of course, sometimes I rented newer consoles from friends or centers. But in any case, I never found it very difficult to find these games, because I was always a member of retro game websites and forums, and in these websites, the games were introduced and had a download link, and if we had a problem with the simulator, they were the ones who Let me help.
The truth is, I had nothing to do with the gaming situation in Iran. I had internet friends who were gamers, so I saw myself completely in the world of gaming, and I had no idea that being Iranian had anything to do with or being influenced by being a gamer. This is probably because I was fluent in English at the age of 14 and started teaching the language at the age of 17 so I could make the most of the online space.
5. The analytics you provided at Gamefax were very high based on the level of content that users were writing. Did you have any special studies in this field?
Thank you first. Second, since defining my master's degree in English literature, I have defined my project as demonstrating the application of literary criticism theories to Video games. It was common at the time to apply these theories and methods of analysis about film, fine arts, and many other works of art, but not my Video game. As far as I can remember, only one professor at the University of Connecticut specialized in literature and Video games. So I used all the methods of literary criticism I had learned - including reading the text thoroughly and deeply to discover themes or using philosophical concepts to understand the story - and applied it only to games. That's why It was on this subject that I compared Alice's novels by Louis Carroll and Maggie American's videogame in terms of narrative structure. I wanted to leave Iran and continue the same project in the United States for a doctorate, but life went on differently. Fortunately, this is no longer the case then, and analytical Video game studies have become popular all over the world, and valuable works have been written.
6. In your articles, the analysis you provide of Silent Hill games is a head and neck higher than the rest of the analysis, and it is clear that you have a special relationship with this series. Tell us a little bit about this: What does Silent Hill mean to you?
Silent Hill is my favorite Video game series. Silent Hill games may not necessarily be the best games in history, as everyone has different priorities for judging. For example, in terms of gameplay, perhaps the best game I have ever played is Fallout: Newgas. But in terms of literary criteria, and what games are most endearing to be analyzed by literary theories, I do not think they are a better example than Silent Hill, because of their very elaborate spatialization, very complex and influential symbolism, very interesting psychology both in the environment and It is crystallized in the characters, as well as dealing with very complex philosophical and social issues. In fact, you can go back to the Silent Hill world over and over again from very different perspectives and discover new layers in it. I've always dreamed of writing a book about Silent Hill that I might never have time for.
7 . How do you see the place of Video games in general in the world?
Video games similar to literature and cinema have a very deep place in the world. This position can be analyzed from many points of view, for example, one of its most obvious aspects is its economic aspect, which is as powerful as Hollywood. I think that my Video game, like literature and cinema, is one of the components of American cultural hegemony and also Japan's superpower in this field of culture, which is an important part of the soft power of these two governments. These governments have built an international brand for themselves by exporting their culture and values, which is why they are attractive to immigrants and have supporters around the world. There is no doubt that both anime and Video games have played a huge role in creating interest in Japan. Thus, it can be said that the almost absolute domination of the United States and Japan in this industry (of course, France, Canada and a few other countries have something to say) is a serious component of power for them.
Apart from these economic and political issues, The position of Video games is increasingly known as an art and one of the sources of producing valuable works, which is a very positive point in my opinion.
8. Given that you have a particular interest in Japanese games, you can learn a little about the role and impact of Video games on Japan's cultural and economic development after World War II. Tell us a second?
Of course, much of Japan's emergence as an economic superpower took place in the 1970s, in which, of course, Video games did not play a major role, but it can be said that In the post-Cold War era, Video games have been a very important resource for Japan, both culturally and economically. Both Sony and Nintendo are very big powers and pillars of the Japanese economy and have international power. Economists estimate that three and a half percent of Japan's gross national income from the Video game industry is a very high figure and one of Japan's most important exports (although less than one percent of Japan's exports are Video games, so other industries are much more important). This means that this industry is of strategic and fundamental importance for the growth and development of the Japanese economy. This means that the Video game industry may not play a role in the emergence of Japan today, but it is very important in the Japanese economy and development today.
9. Are you still involved in the gaming world? If yes, do you think the situation in the gaming world today is better or worse than in the past? Are we seeing games become more commercialized and the footprints of author game developers disappear? For example, if you want to write a list of the top ten games of the past few years, can you write about them from the same Silent Hill model analysis? Do they have the potential for in-depth analysis?
I'm still very involved with the game. But my main problem is that I can't afford new games because of the problems caused by inflation. Because it's hard for me to upgrade my PC and buy new consoles and games. But I'm still playing; And more old games. For example, after finishing Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines several times, I played a round of Final Fantasy XIII again and again came to the conclusion that this game had been abused a lot and it was really a masterpiece. Is. I've gone to Deus Ex now and enjoy it. So my head is hot with old games. Of course, sometimes I get lucky, and new games can be run on my device if they are the product of independent manufacturers.
Despite this, I have no doubt that there are still valuable and masterpiece games that can be deeply analyzed. The past always looks brighter, but the reason is that we only remember the best games of the past and forget the bad games. But today, with the expansion of the Video game market, more people have definitely entered this market and are producing valuable works. Commercialization is not a bad thing, commercialization creates a market that allows independent and valuable works to be produced as well. For example, there is no doubt that the major games available on Android and iOS are the most commercially possible games designed just to get people addicted and then get paid, but in the same market of weak games you can find many games that have great artistic value and great experience. Is like The Wolf Among Us or Brothers: A Tale Of Two Sons or The Silent Age or Beholder or many other games.
10. How did you find out that your article was translated by me at BingMag, and what was your reaction to that?
As I said before, a book by me has just been published. That's why I googled my name to see if there was any feedback on the book. Because you mentioned me in one of the comments, I noticed that the article was published. I was very happy about this, because I thought that these things were lost in the dust of time and no one would read them anymore. Thank you for reviving them after more than ten years, and it was good for your readers. I tried to improve the analysis of my Video game and take it out of a dry and completely technical state and look at the content aspect of it, and it is my pleasure that this kind of content is published in Digi Kala Mag. I hope that reviving this content will encourage those who analyze Video games in a similar way. Thank you for all your efforts.
Articles translated and published by Ali Nazifpour in BingMag
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- Top 10 Games That Deal with Important Emotional Issues
- Top 10 Author-Players in History
- Top 10 Imaginary Sects in Video Games
- Top 10 Games That Deal With Important Ethical Issues