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Greek island protests video game stardom

Bohemia Interactive
Welcome to the Island of Limnos ... home to invading Iranian troops?
Welcome to the Island of Limnos ... home to invading Iranian troops?Bohemia Interactive

It seems the Greek island of Limnos is none-too-happy about its starring role in the forthcoming military shooting game "ArmA 3."

According to the AFP news agency, Limnos Mayor Antonis Hatzidiamantis believes the game will damage the island's reputation and could perhaps even pose a security threat.

"We cannot fathom that our island, a place of peace and creation, will be turned into a scene for violence and battle," Hatzidiamantis told the Athens-based newspaper Eleftherotypia.

And he added, "We reserve our legal rights to defend our island's reputation."

"ArmA 3," developed by Bohemia Interactive, is a sandbox-style combat game scheduled to launch for PCs in the summer of 2012. According to the game's website, the story goes like this:

After years of intense warfare against Eastern armies, Europe has become the last stand for the battered NATO forces ... A small group of Special Forces and Researchers are sent to a Mediterranean island deep behind enemy lines. However, the mission is compromised and the task force destroyed, leaving Cpt. Scott Miller washed ashore upon the hostile island. In his effort to carry out the mission, he will face the dangers of modern warfare, an unforgiving environment, and the consequences of his own decisions…

Bohemia Interactive

As for the fictional situation on Limnos, it seems the island is deep behind enemy lines and only partially inhabited by a fraction of the original Greek populace. It has been inhabited by Iranian troops and is under the control of something called "the New Greek Militia," as well as various hostile forces and paramilitary factions.  

Bohemia Interactive, which is known for infusing its games with realism, promises that "ArmA 3" will offer the most detailed environments found in the series to date. And a look at the game's screenshots shows that Bohemia has, indeed, capture some pretty realistic-looking imagery from Limnos.

As it turns out, the Limnos tourism board doesn't see this as a positive.

"There are national reasons to keep certain areas on the island secure but (in the game) they are shown in high-definition," said Costas Adamidis, head of the local municipal council, pointing out that the island sits close to the Turkish mainland.

Of course, this isn't the first time an uproar has occurred when a real-world location appeared in a video game. Back in 2007, the Church of England protested the inclusion of the Manchester Cathedral in the PlayStation 3 game "Resistance: Fall of Man."

Hey! I'd recognize that Space Needle anywhere.
Hey! I'd recognize that Space Needle anywhere.Bohemia Interactive

Meanwhile, I see that Bohemia Interactive is planning to launch a realistic helicopter game called "Take on Helicopters" later this year. And it appears that one of the game's "beautifully rich and expansive environments" will be based on the city of Seattle.

But let this be a warning to you, Bohemia Interactive: As a Seattle resident, I am preparing my protest now.

(Thanks to The Escapist for the heads up.)

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Winda Benedetti writes about games for You can follow her tweets about games and other things here on Twitter or join her in the stream here on Google+. And be sure to check out the In-Game Facebook page here.