Illegal Immigrant Smuggling Game Under Fire for Insensitivity

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Illegal Immigrant Smuggling Game Under Fire for Insensitivity

A game featuring a bumpy truck ride and a bed full of immigrants is undergoing criticism for its content.

Advocacy groups are calling out Owlchemy Labs' upcoming iPad, iPhone, and web game Smuggle Truck for its political insensitivity. The game has players driving a rickety truck through dangerous environments while trying to keep immigrants alive inside the truck bed.

Eva Millona of the Massachusetts Immigrants & Refugee Advocacy Coalition told NBC she feels Smuggle Truck "trivializes the seriousness of immigrants willing to risk their lives to cross the border." Patricia Montes of another group points out that illegal immigration is mostly done out of desperation, she doesn't think it should be made into a game.

Thanu Yakupitiyage of the New York Immigration Coalition says: "This 'game' pokes fun and trivializes the harsh reality of our current immigration policy that leads to people putting their lives at stake and embarking on dangerous border crossings." She notes that 170 people were killed trying to immigrate to the U.S. in 2010.

Owlchemy co-founder Alex Schwartz says the game is justified as a parody of the U.S.'s immigration system. The game was born out of Schwartz's Turkish-born business partner's struggle to remain in the U.S. "We feel like there should be room for expression in this medium that can talk about this - but because we're approaching it with satire it's hard to do," he says.

Owlchemy is taking heed of the criticism, having changed the images of the "immigrants" in the truck so that they're not all Mexican in appearance. However, the company is unlikely to bow to advocacy group pressure due to the origins of the game and purpose behind it, which is not necessarily to make fun of illegal immigrants. Conceptually, it actually looks like a pretty fun game. It'll be out in March 2011.

Source: NBC and NY Daily News, via TG Daily

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When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

They should point out how animal farm and the like is acailmed as a paradoy of poltics.

I am a 1st generation "mojado" in the United States. My parents were both born in Mexico. I approve of this game. From what I see in the trailer it looks to be a strong satire game. Now if you were playing as a border patrol shooting illegal immigrants, legally (like it is now), than I may of taken offense.

We have enough as it is for people to be getting sensitive over every single subject that comes up.

Who cares? It's a stupid game. I don't see why this is such a problem. I agree with the creator on this one, it's political satire turned into a game, and because it's a game, it's evil.

people need to stop being so damn sensitive and realize this LOOKS AMAZING!! i can't stop laughing, but i would pay for this.

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

haha me too, at first!

Oh come on, why can't people just stop getting upset over everything now. This game is meant for fun, it's meant to be funny. It's not hurting anyone, I hate people.

That video is hilarious.... 'BABY!'

There are games and movies based on road rage. Me going to work and them trying to find work. I dont see the issue.

Political incorrectness at its finest. We need those kind of games in order for our society and values to advance.

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

Yep, same here.

It's amazing how quickly advocates jump on anything that doesn't fit into their view of "acceptable" topics or viewpoints . . . it's sad how satire in all of it's forms has become completely overlooked such that most people can no longer distiguish something as satire at first glance. This "politcal correctness fiasco" needs to effin stop, people. Without satire, we run the risk of taking things in life way too seriously - without others willing to blow a subject out of proportion and joke around about it, it turns into the massive pink elephant in the room that no one is willing to talk about.

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

same here, i was very intrigued about this.

Bretty:
That video is hilarious.... 'BABY!'

There are games and movies based on road rage. Me going to work and them trying to find work. I dont see the issue.

i lol'd at that baby part too!

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

Me as well. I was wondering if it was GTA IV.

Political insensitivity? Since when was that a crime?

As long as they don't name names or countries or whatever I hardly see any issue here.

Political correctness is an infringement on free speech anyway.

EDIT: on closer look the "immigrants" look pretty diverse. Looks like a white guy in a blue collar shirt and maybe some vague mexican references. I think if anything the women appear a little mexican but overall I don't think they're trying to give that impression.

Good thing they've also tried to outlaw all those games based around murder, genocide and stealing then.

Oh wait...

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

Same here.

Anyway, I am all for this game. Preventing a game from being released just because it may offend a few people is not the way for gaming to be accepted as an artistic medium.

Oh neat. This game looks awesome- showing us how the perfectly normal and decent people sub-humans populate areas. This is very educational.

On a more serious note, I really don't see the problem. The whole thing is clearly ironic.

imperialreign:
It's amazing how quickly advocates jump on anything that doesn't fit into their view of "acceptable" topics or viewpoints . . . it's sad how satire in all of it's forms has become completely overlooked such that most people can no longer distiguish something as satire at first glance. This "politcal correctness fiasco" needs to effin stop, people. Without satire, we run the risk of taking things in life way too seriously - without others willing to blow a subject out of proportion and joke around about it, it turns into the massive pink elephant in the room that no one is willing to talk about.

Stop being sensible dammit.

I dont see what their purpose of the game they are alluding to in the article, besides making fun of illegal immigration and all that, well and make money. That probly the main point, and nothing wrong with that.

Pfft, just pallet swap the immigrants out for watermelons and it would be fine (and then you could have a DLC that corrects that pallet swap).

Well, I think this game absolutely has a right to be released. However on a personal note I also find it in poor taste and wouldn't enjoy playing it.

That's the thing isn't it? You should choose your own entertainment, not have somebody choose it for you.

I might buy an iPhone just to play that.

Ohh well maybe these people shouldnt be trying to BREAK our laws by ILLEGALLY crossing our boarders, then crying cuz we americans dont like them doing that SH**.

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

And subsequently got shot at for being insensitive!

You know when you see something you wanted your whole life, but didn't know it until the precise moment you saw it. This is one of those moments.

I really, really, really hope they don't cave.

This is an interesting idea and a really compelling parody. The developers need to simply say that they agree that this is a serious issue and respond that what they're doing is as serious as any other parody (just because something is funny doesn't mean it isn't serious). The whole argument against the game centers on the fact that this is a serious topic and games can't be serious and giving in just perpetuates that nonsense.

Who cares? The game looks awesome.

Actually I think both immigration and illegal immigration need to be examined, and not in the sense of "we need to be nicer to people and let them into the country", quite the opposite in fact. We need to start getting more hard core about this kind of thing, both in terms of treating illegals far more harshly (perhaps up to the point of execution), and also being able to remove citizenship from people who immigrate legally or become citizens yet who do not adapt to the country.

Now before someone freaks out (I know there are a lot of left wingers here) let me be painfully blunt, this issue has always bugged me, but I've been becoming increasingly angrier over the last few years. Truthfully, the things that are upsetting me the most have absolutly nothing to do with the "big" issues of things like jobs and illegal workers doing them. But things like:

http://www.freelancenews.com/news/249033-high-schools-ban-of-american-flags-has-students-outraged

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/8526614/detail.html

http://majorityrights.com/index.php/weblog/comments/american_flag_banned_in_an_american_school/

http://www.theblaze.com/stories/bikers-rally-to-ride-with-boy-after-school-banned-american-flag/

This is just the tip if the iceberg, not the best sources but it was a quick search over a period of like 30 seconds. I put some links about this kind of thing up in another post where someone was talking about Canada having issue with school prayer as well. If you dig you'll find lots of coverage on these incidents, and more similar incidents, from all kinds of news sources both mainstream and otherwise.

The point here being that the immigration problem is so out of control, and our standards are so low, that we are having kids pressured to not wear the American flag in school, fly it from bikes, and similar things. There have also been people fired from their jobs (or threatened with firing) for doing similar things, or having patriotic bumper stickers or flags on their car. I couldn't find the link but there was one guy who was fired for having an "I support our troops" sticker ribbon on his car which was "offensive" to Muslim co-workers.

The point is that when people immigrate they become Americans, I don't care if it's a hispanic holiday, but your supposed to be an American and the depiction of the flag of your OWN COUNTRY should not be an issue. Whether the person is a dual citizen or a straight immigrant who gave up citizenship, if there is an issue with this they don't belong here, and when there are issues with potential violence over the American flag being displayed in America fueling this, that's an issue of extreme proportions that requires some rather extreme responses.

If your in the US as a citizen, then you should be an American first, and not be acting as a citizen of another country who is merely drawing benefits. What's more we should not be kowtowing to, or encouraging this kind of behavior. I can understand not being discriminatory, but not flying an American flag for fear of offending someone to whom that should be their flag too is an issue. When it comes to guest workers/illegals, it's even worse because those people shouldn't even be a factor for this kind of thing. If you don't like America, why the heck are you here?

I'll also be blunt, I'm well aware that other countries do not have our standard of living. A lot of people who come to the US legally or otherwise are pretty desperate, but honestly I don't think their desperation is our problem. We cannot, and probably shouldn't, be trying to take responsibility for all of the world's problems. Yes, I know that someone's life might suck in China/Mexico/Bolivia/Russia/whatever, but that doesn't mean it's our responsibility to care for these people or take them in. As a result the wretched conditions of the people coming into the country don't personally affect me much. Sure, it's a terrible thing, but we can't solve all these problems without destroying ourselves in the process. The US is already in a massive economic slump, and above and beyond issues related to money and jobs, it's not like these guys are causing anything but problems. I mean we take people in, and they can't even be bothered to learn the language or have their children learn it? They are going to get upset about us flying our own flag in our own country... and do so to the point of threatening violence over it?

The only "plight" in my opinion when it comes to immigrants and illegal immigrants is the one we in the US face in needing to find ways to get rid of them. As time goes on I'm becoming increasingly less humanitarian, and looking towards far mor extreme (and probably predictable) solutions to the problem which I won't get into (again) simply because I already know it will upset people.

I mean, I can get the whole human empathy thing, and why people get upset when seeing other people in pain, and want to help. The problem is that this issue has moved well away from that, and really I think we need to start looking at our own needs here rather than theirs, especially when these guys aren't just biting the hand that feeds them once they are here, but pretty much chopping it off to wear around their neck as a trophy of whatever place they came from.

I loved Machete, and I heartily approve of this game.
Also, I would like to accuse the games accusers of the oversensitivity that has caused our current cultural paralysis. My motto regarding this issue: "If you can't joke about it, you're taking it too seriously. If you take something too seriously, you'll never be able to change it or move on."

Oh noes, ban it, quick! Games like this encourage ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION!!!

Soviet Heavy:
When I read the title, I thought it was about an illegal immigrant who got in trouble for smuggling games.

Same here.

Was disappointed :(

So, trivializing illegal immigration is insensitive because it's dangerous, but other dangerous situations in games aren't?

Huh.

If they'd quit breaking the law by sneaking over here illegally then there wouldn't be games about it, now would there?

This game looks fucking brilliant fun.

Who cares if it's insensitive. So's most comedy.

Insensitivity!? More like facts. "Not to sound like i like America, because i fucking hate it"

But when a bunch of motherfuckers come into out country well ARMED bringing tons of DRUGS on a LARGE scale, Then we have an issue.

Oh come on, this shit is FUNNY.

There is so much worse out there.

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