- Despite the fact that MTV's website is still auto-video-playing, Flash-triggeringly awful, we're still going to link to Stephen Totilo's excellent new article 'Mortal Combat: An Iraqi Gamer Shares His Harrowing Story', over at MTV News.

It's revealed: "What's the gaming life been like in Baghdad? It has followed a path familiar to many European gamers, where the Amiga computer was the premiere gaming system at a time when the Nintendo Entertainment System dominated in America and Japan. Then the Sega Genesis was big. ("Mortal Kombat" on that machine was a... favorite.) Then came PlayStation. Nintendo was never big. The dominant games were always the soccer titles, [Iraqi gamer] Wisam said. He couldn't find many folks like himself who, in his words, is a " 'Final Fantasy' freaker.""

Wisam also notes: "Most of the games he buys are bootlegs, sold for about a dollar in Baghdad's Tahrir Square. "Before the invasion, we could buy a lot of games," Wisam said. "The games are available if you go outside. But maybe I'll get killed by a car bomb or [improvised explosive device]."" So, hardly a normal EB/GameStop situation then. But it's heartening (and a little weird?) to note that Final Fantasy fanboyism is alive and well even in Baghdad.