Tuesday, 15 February 2011
There is a new iPod and iPad application called “Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration”, which will be released in March, where a pickup truck full of immigrants bounces on a bumpy desert highway. The truck lets men, women, and newborn babies fall out every time it hits a bump and hops over creeks and canyons.
Reuters reports that according to the developer, Boston-based firm Owlchemy Labs, the object of this game “…is to keep the immigrants in the bed of the truck as they speed through the border lands”. According to them, the game is also an attempt “to take a satirical swipe at the country’s broken immigration system”.
I think this attempt is a failure.
The Daily News reports that Owlchemy Labs have also changed the “immigrants” in the truck so they don’t specifically seem Mexican. Smugglers get special medals that unlock new levels and the “Green Card” goes to the players that get everybody over the border safely.
According to Reuters, "Smuggle Truck was inspired by the frustration our friends have experienced in trying to immigrate to the United States," said Owlchemy Labs.
"With such a troublesome issue being largely avoided in popular media, especially video games, we felt the best way to criticize it was with an interactive satire," Owlchemy Labs added.
I do not see why this issue has to be touched upon in video games. Children and young adults are more likely to be influenced than adults. If society starts allowing these types of games to be sold in stores, what are we telling our youth?
Illegal immigration is indeed a controversial topic but definitely a serious one.
According to rapidimmigration.com, the volume of illegal immigrants is difficult to estimate but through a consensus of methods, the number of illegal immigrants is estimated to be about 250,000 to 300,000 per year. More than half of these illegal immigrants enter the US legally and overstay their visas.
While illegal immigration is of course a problem, it does in some ways, contribute to the US economy. There are people who believe that illegal immigrants are taking away jobs from US citizens but many illegal immigrants take on extremely low-paying jobs that most US citizens do not want.
RapidImmigration.com claims that “Immigrants are an essential element in keeping the American economy strong…they are filling an intrinsic need in the labor force.”
What do you think of this new immigration game?