Dean “Rocket” Hall of DayZ fame asks for help to free game developer friends from Greece prison, accused of spying
Dean Hall (aka “Rocket”) is the now-famous creator of the popular Arma II mod DayZ. He recently started a new tumblr account for his personal blog and found that the first thing he ended up writing about was a call to get his close game developer friends who helped with the mod out of a terrible situation.
Ivan Buchta and Martin Pezlar are two game developers from the Czech Republic, who Hall recently visited to enlist help on a new map for DayZ called ChernarusPlus. The two have been working on Bohemia Interactive’s Arma III, which portrays the real-life island of Limnos in a futuristic battle setting. Residents of the aforementioned Greek island were apparently none-too-happy about the portrayal and claimed that it would be bad for their tourism industry.
The two developers were detained while taking pictures of the island. A search of their camera and camcorder revealed images of military installations on the island, which they explained were for research for Arma III. Possibly due to resident angst against the game, the two were taken in and charged with spying. The developers say they are currently being treated “fairly and correctly“.
Meanwhile a site called helpivanmartin.org has been put up to help spread awareness of the situation as well as Hall himself spreading the news. As the site writes:
Facing up to 20 years in prison, for taking pictures of an island, just like countless other tourists before them, the Czech developers are being charged with espionage.
The charges appear to be completely unsubstantiated as far as friends, family and colleagues are concerned. Dean Hall writes in his post “My friends are in prison“:
This is at best, ignorance about video games, at worst it is an abuse of power.
Currently the best way to help get the two out of this jam are by spreading awareness of it. Hall asks people send a twitter message to the Prime Minister of Greece or to call or write the nearest Greek Embassy.