Slave to the Game

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BEIRUT -- Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas have launched a video game that invites players to relive their successes in last year's war against Israel, and shoot down "the myth of an invincible army."

The game called "Special Force 2," is based on fighting that actually took place, one of its creators, Ali Ahmed, said.

"The player is involved as a resistance fighter, and relives the high points of the destruction of the Israeli military machine," he added.

The game was created in order to "reaffirm the destruction of the myth of an invincible army," he said. Each day there is a "martyr" from among a list of Hezbollah fighters killed during the war.

The six-step game starts with the capture of two Israeli soldiers on the Israeli-Lebanese border, which triggered the July 12, 2006 conflict that ended just over a month later August 14.

It involves pinpointing a patrol, launching the attack, destroying Israeli vehicles, blowing up a security enclosure, and capturing the soldiers.

"The [simulated] battles take place day and night," Ahmed said.

Every player, whether alone or in a group, is guided by the "resistance command center," and chooses his level, whether beginner, intermediate, or professional, he added.

Missions also include destroying an Israeli Saar-5 class gunship off the coast of Beirut, as happened during the first days of the fighting, as well as destroying dozens of Merkava tanks and launching missiles on northern Israel.

"This game stimulates thinking, because it involves fighting the Israeli enemy not only with weapons, but also with tactics and planning," Ahmed said.

The game, in Arabic, which will soon have French and English versions, sells for "$10 because the goal is not for profit," he said.

In 2001, Hezbollah launched a first game called "Special Force 1," based on operations against the Israeli army in Southern Lebanon before its retreat in the year 2000.