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U.S. Sanctions Hit Iran’s World of Warcraft Junkies

Have Iran sanctions finally gone too far? Desperate nerds from all over Iran deluged message boards and online forums earlier this week with pleas for help: World of Warcraft, the popular electronic game, had cut them off, reportedly in order to “tighten up” its parent company’s compliance with U.S. sanctions.

It’s not clear that the Iranian government is too upset by this news. Other reports indicated that the Iranian government itself had cut off access to other massively multiplayer online games. Apparently, pastimes in which players bargain with elves and wizards and fight trolls strike the humorless mullahs of Tehran as unhealthy inducements to superstition, violence, and virtual licentiousness (think female Night Elves in skimpy outfits). The U.S. and Iranian governments don’t agree on much, but at least they can agree that Iranian teenagers need to get out of their rooms more often and play outside.

Then again, if one of the mullahs’ goals is to keep young people from mingling with the opposite sex, keeping Iran’s nerd community questing in Azeroth might actually be the way to go.

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