In a game currently under development called Fuck ISIS: the Super Patriotic Dating Simulator, players control Elodie, a 19-year-old American CIA agent who is self-admittedly, “Really horny and … still a virgin … kind of.” In the ISIS dating game trailer, Elodie says she has has 44 kills and is about to go undercover to fuck and kill members of ISIS. “Best summer ever!” she squeals.
“I’m going to eliminate them by whatever means necessary, and maybe learn a bit about my body on the way,” she says.
Karlee Esmailli — the creator, writer and programmer of Fuck Isis and founder of Immigrant Father studios in Chicago — calls her ISIS dating game a “satirical, comedy dating sim … largely influenced by my experience being a Middle Eastern woman in America right now.” Esmailli has comedy chops, too — she also works on the popular game Cards Against Humanity.
Esmailli is Iranian-American and she says, “I hope players walk away from this game reminded that ISIS is not representative of Islam and that ISIS fucking sucks.”
But while the ISIS dating game skewers the seven “dateable” members of ISIS — the leader talks about how he’s tired of casual sex and beheadings — it’s a bit weird that each one is drawn like a hunky anime character. The game’s Kickstarter crowdfunding page even list each one’s penis size (even though Esmailli says the game features no graphic sexual content).
There’s Husani, an executioner welding a bloody scimitar; Omar, an emo-looking suicide bomber with an 11-inch penis; Waseem, a nerdy-looking cleric; Rashad, a silver-haired dude with an assault rifle; Yasir, a sniper with his head covered; Sadiq, a social media savvy desert fighter; and “target number one,” ISIS’ leader, The Caliph.
There’s something subversive about using sex to kill ISIS members, especially since their violent brand of Islamic belief is rabidly misogynist and sex-negative. But in making the ISIS members sexy, the ISIS dating game both follows conventions of the dating SIM genre while leaving us uncomfortably attracted to the terrorists.
Perhaps Esmailli has hit on an uncomfortable reality: It’s quite possible that some ISIS members are physically attractive. After all, all sorts of people are attractive. But while attractiveness is skin-deep, hate is ugly and runs all the way down to the bone.
What do you think of Fuck ISIS? Is there anything inherently problematic with an ISIS dating game?
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