After two weeks of protests and unrest, Dota 2, and other games have reportedly been banned by the ruling regime of Iran.
Islamic Republic of Iran has reportedly banned Dota 2 today as per residents of the country. Iranian Dota player and photographer Kamyab Tizrø posted that his country had banned the game in the wake of unrest in the country. The alleged reasoning behind the ban is to disable Dota 2 and any other game’s chat functionality.
The ban comes in the wake of two weeks of protests initially sparked by the killing of 22-year-old woman Mahsa Amini, who was beaten to death by Iran’s “morality police.” Amini is thought to have violated the country's strict hijab and dress code mandates. Following her killing, dozens of protests and much unrest has continued throughout Iran.
In response, Iran’s religious authoritarian regime has cracked down on public gatherings, and now, chat functionality in messaging services, games, and social media. The aim being to stifle and suppress news of the country’s troubles, and cut off communication with the outside world. Dota 2 and other games with chat functions have reportedly been banned.
Plees from Dota player in Iran
Tizrø’s revelation that Dota 2 had been banned in Iran comes eight days after a dramatic post the photographer and filmmaker left on the Dota 2 subreddit entitled “my death letter (probably).” In the post Tizrø announces that he will be playing one more Dota game before he heads out to take part in a protest. Kamyab wrote in a manner suggesting he didn’t know if he would return or not.
To many reader’s relief, Tizrø has since posted two updates on the post, including an update saying they’d banned Dota 2. While an usual and dramatic post on the Dota 2 subreddit, the posts has provided insight the struggle every day Iranians face as they attempt to, in the words of Kamyab, “take back the Iran we had 40 years ago.”
In 1979 the monarchy of Iran was overthrown by a coalition of leftist and Islamic organizations. Popular support for the revolution was largely fueled by opposition to the regime which had been installed in the 1953 Iranian coup d'état. In that coup, the United States and United Kingdom had conspired to overthrow the democratically elected government and place an authoritarian monarch in control. However, this would ultimately spark a revolution that gave power to the Ayatollahs, and eventually the modern regime.
Now the current regime once again sits on the precipice of revolution. And while the banning of video games may pale in the comparisons to the other elements of oppression faced in Iran, Tizrø’s post has given the average Dota 2 fan a window into the happenings within the country.