A team of young game developers from Ninawa province in northern Iraq has designed a virtual reality (VR) game focusing on the ruins and ancient artefacts of Mosul.
The game brings Mosul's relics to the forefront years after they were destroyed by the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS).
Through virtual reality, curious players are able to explore landmarks destroyed by ISIS in 2015 and 2016. They can tour the Assyrian city of Nimrod, pass through its Nergal gate and see the winged bulls on either side of it.
The game has also restored the Old City's neighbourhoods destroyed in the 2017 liberation battles to how they were before, making it possible to visit the old houses with their traditional Mosulian architecture and tour their rooms and courtyards.
Mosul's multifaceted game
Project co-ordinator Moyasser Nasseer told Diyaruna the game design includes mysteries focused on Assyrian and Islamic cultures, intended for different intellectual and educational levels.
The mysteries, paired with other parts of the game, will familiarise users with a significant portion of Ninawa's history, he said.
The game, which is unnamed as of yet, is in development and set to launch by the end of the year.
According to Nasseer, the virtual reality game is only a small part of a large project that intends to document the heritage and legacy of Mosul through virtual reality.
The game is meant to convey the Mosulian youth's message of peace and tolerance and their rejection of all forms of extremism.
Perhaps the most notable objective of this game is to promote tourism in Mosul, the cradle of many ancient civilisations. Design team member Basma Qais told Diyaruna it will remind Mosulians of their identity, heritage and national pride.
A catalyst project?
Once launched, the Mosul virtual reality game may have the potential to be a catalyst for designing similar games in other Iraqi provinces, and perhaps even spark some positive competition.
Alaa al-Saadi, an application designer in Dhi Qar province in southern Iraq, said every Iraqi province has a proud heritage, and capable young locals who could produce various virtual reality and other electronic games.
Al-Saadi told Diyaruna such games could promote archaeological sites, Iraqi marshlands and other landmarks.
He called on the Iraqi government to support and sponsor such products to promote national unity and reject violence, extremism and hate propaganda.