Human Rights Organization Releases Free Immigration Videogame
International human rights organization Breakthrough has launched a new videogame called ICED (I Can End Deportation) designed to shine a spotlight on what it calls unfair U.S. immigration policies.
The free downloadable game puts players in the role of an immigrant youth being chased by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers. During the course of the game, players must make moral choices and answer fact-or-fiction questions about current immigration policies in the U.S. Incorrect choices increase the chance of the player being placed in detention, separated from his family and forced to endure "unjust conditions" while awaiting the random outcome of his case.
"Breakthrough believes it's important to engage young people in social issues and encourage civic engagement," said Mallika Dutt, executive director at Breakthrough. "Games for change help people to better relate to an issue because they can put themselves into the shoes of a character experiencing injustice."
"Close to two million people have been deported and thousands more affected - many without just cause - due to unfair immigration policies," she added. "When we let the government deny due process and human rights for some people, we're putting all of our freedoms at risk."
The freely downloadable game is targeted toward students, and will be accompanied by material for use in social studies and civics discussions in high schools and community groups. Each of the game's five characters is based on true case studies, and represents different parts of the world with different immigration statuses.
"ICED was designed to show people in an interactive, firsthand experience what is happening today to thousands of people on a daily basis," said game designer Heidi Boisvert. "We hope through awareness of these human rights violations, the public will take action and work toward righting this wrong."
ICED, a 74 MB download, is available from www.icedgame.com, while more information about Breakthrough's mission can be found at www.breakthrough.tv.
I tried it. There isn't much to it. Although I was expecting having to make some decisions that would be a little more realistic, but not really. It's still a one-way game, with decisions like "Steal this car" or "Help raise money for an orphan".
I will say the random true/false questions that pop up did teach me some things I didn't know. The one that got me going was that in a detention center, the companies providing the phone service charge the detainees six times more for phone calls than a normal customer.
I'd say it's a play, especially if you are ignorant to these problems like me! I only did one of the 'stories' and it took me about 10 minutes.
Thanks for playing--- and thanks Chris P. Lettuce... we really tried to change the dialogue around immigration- one that looks at it as a due process and human rights issue for all immigrants. Also, thanks for taking the time to answer the myth/fact questions about the issues. A lot of people have no idea what is going on-- so it's important to people play!