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Palestinian developer tackles a game ... about sperm

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Ramallah in Palestine's West Bank is home to PinchPoint, a game developer that claims to be the first venture-capital-backed Palestinian video game studio.

The New Yorker reports PinchPoint's first game, Spermania for Android, which covers a subject that is a long way away from the conflict that surrounds the game's makers. It is a mobile fantasy-platformer about the life of a sperm.

But just making this game has been a struggle for the developers, who live in a city that is at the forefront of the long-standing conflict between Palestinians and Israel.

"Local events here definitely affect our focus and stress us out," said PinchPoint developer Basel Nasr. "We have no airport or control over our land borders, so travel costs extra time and money. This makes it more challenging to plan overseas trips, as well as to connect with foreign video-game studios around the world in order to learn and share our experiences."

The company was founded by coders with a passion for games. "I truly believe that Palestinians are very innovative and out-of-the-box thinkers," said CEO Khaled Abu Al Kheir. "It's something that is required in our day-to-day life, and I'm certain that, when given the chance, this makes our games different."

"Our society is immensely colorful," added head of development Tareq Doufish. "We are used to daily struggles and have a keen awareness of life's fragility. That brings with it a resolution to make things work in the face of adversity, to persevere and triumph, even against the most overwhelming odds."