You don’t have to be an expert in the Middle East to know that the conversation around the Israel-Palestine crisis is changing, gamers. In the wake of the violence that broke out in Gaza a few weeks ago, there has been a renewed debate over who gets to claim Jerusalem as their own. Well, after seeing all this impassioned discussion taking place, we couldn’t help but feel like there was an important element of the controversy that was being left out.
It may be an uncomfortable truth, gamers, but Jerusalem’s prominence in Assassin’s Creed means it is clearly and undeniably a holy site for gamers as well.
Should Jews be able to pray at the Western Wall in peace? Absolutely. And should Palestinians be able to worship at the Al-Aqsa Mosque? Of course. No one’s denying that. But what about the gamers? Alongside Damascus and Acre, Jerusalem is one of the three cities Altaïr must visit to carry out the assassinations ordered by Al Mualim in the original Assassin’s Creed. Yet nowhere in these arguments about sovereignty and international law is anyone even considering how it all impacts gamers.
International authorities can try all you want to ignore our claims to the Holy Land, yet that doesn’t change the fact that they are legitimate both on an ethical and legal level. PS3, Xbox 360, and PC players alike have spent thousands of hours virtually scaling the Old City’s walls and climbing its rooftops, and are unarguably entitled to some piece of it.
It’s time for gamers to get what they’re owed.
Of course, we don’t mean to inflame tensions or needlessly stir resentments any further. And sure, bringing a new negotiating party to the table such as the millions of fanboys and fangirls across the globe may prove inconvenient for the U.N., but you know what’s even more inconvenient? Having finished Assassin’s Creed with 100% completion—including all the side objectives and collectibles—yet not being allowed to plant your flag where it rightly belongs. Israelis have their government to represent them, and Palestinians have the PA, but who speaks for the gamers?
We don’t say this lightly, but it would not be an overstatement to call Jerusalem, in its current form, occupied gamer territory.
People may try to paint gamers’ claims on the Holy Land as a recent invention, but they are anything but. Gamers have a historical connection to the land stretching back to 2007 when the landmark Ubisoft title was originally released. This needs to be acknowledged, or else we will never be able to move forward together. While we understand there are no easy answers in navigating this crisis, we firmly support a three-state solution between Israelis, Palestinians, and gamers as a means of ensuring all parties get their fair share.
Until we recognize gamers’ rights to a land that is so near and dear to their hearts, we shall remain in darkness. It’s time we face the truth head on. The world is watching.