Navid Khonsari was 10 years old when the Iranian Revolution began.
“My grandfather actually took me out to walk in the early parts of the revolution,” he says, as tanks rolled through streets and protesters filled the air with chants. Khonsari eventually fled with his family to Canada. But the revolution continues to influence his life: The 44-year-old is putting his memories into a new video game called 1979 Revolution, which transports players directly inside the Iranian conflict.
Khonsari has a deep pedigree in the gaming world, having directed multiple games in the Grand Theft Auto franchise as well as the first two Max Payne games, but he says creating this game is different—it’s personal.