A Video Game Paves the Way for Female Drivers in Saudi Arabia

Released by Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud, Saudi Girls Revolution features women fighting evil, bad guys, and traffic.

Image via Wikimedia

It’s 2015, and Saudi Arabian women still aren’t allowed to drive. In the world of Saudi Arabian video games, however, things feel a little bit different. Saudi Girls Revolution, a recent game released by a Saudi Arabian prince, features eight Saudi women dressed in abayas, blasting villains, destroying cyborgs, and yes—driving cars.

The game was designed by NA3M, a company headed by Prince Fahad bin Faisal Al Saud, grandson of the brother of the king. There’s more than girl warriors in this revolution, though. Asma and Allanoud are siblings who both fight against religious sectarianism. Then there’s Um Bandar, a sagacious leader who trains women to fight for themselves, as well as a character named Hussa, who is gay.

Prince Fahad said that his primary attention was to create a “kick-ass game,” adding, “If we can tell people stories about women driving . . . maybe it will actually happen.” While there’s a long history of video games participating in social change—the Sims created gay characters as early as 2000—Saudi Girls Revolution is particularly notable. It’s a video game that critiques controversial social policies, created by a relative of one of the country’s most important policymakers.

Here’s a quick teaser of the game, featuring a Saudi Arabian revolutionary standing proudly next to her weapon: her wheels.