Immigration Game Explores Social Issues

Part of a growing new genre of video games which allows players to delve into social and policy issues, "ICED!" invites players to step into the shoes of foreigners who run afoul of the U.S. immigration system. Characters include a Japanese CS student who loses his student visa and is deported after failing to take a full load of university classes, a 10th-grade Indian girl who is detained for an essay she wrote on the US Department of Homeland Security, a Mexican high school graduate whose family overstayed its visa, and a Haitian war veteran who faces deportation when he turns to alcohol and crime after returning from Iraq. Every character included is based on a real situation, including the case of a 16-year-old New York girl from Guinea who was accused of planning a suicide bombing and detained for six weeks in 2005 before the charges dropped.

The game hopes to show how immigration laws passed in 1996 expanded the number of crimes that can trigger deportation and limited immigrants' rights to appeal; the title is a play on the acronym for the Department of Homeland Security's Immigration and Customs Enforcement office. Gameplay involves attempting to keep a low profile and performing community service; criminal behavior, such as shoplifting, causes the player to lose points. Too many points lost and the player ends up in a federal detention facility. Mallika Dutt, head of the nonprofit Breakthrough which produced "ICED!" explains that "the game allows you to get into the body of a person, so you can experience what they are going through. There are very few opportunities to get that perspective."

Boisvert and Natalia Rodriguez, the game's creators, came up with the idea in graduate school, speaking to immigration experts, attorneys and advocacy groups, as well as "ICED!"'s target audience of voting-age teens. Barbara Gonzalez, a spokeswoman for ICE, declined to comment on the game. "ICED!" is scheduled to be available for free download next month.

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10 Comments

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This game sounds extremely boring. What would I rather do - Save the world from an alien invasion or perform community service? Hmmm....

Haitian war veteran who faces deportation when he turns to alcohol and crime after returning from Iraq
RACIST GTFO!

Pip'

Pippin666 said,
RACIST GTFO!

Pip'

Yes, this is interesting. Especially considering that PTSD cases like this reported so far have involved native US citizens. They mostly haven't turned to crime, they committed suicide, or went on a killing spree and then were killed by police.

I'm more concerned about the criminal in the White House, and the next criminal they're preparing to be "elected" to finish the job of selling out America to the oil companies and China.

I'm more concerned about the criminal in the White House, and the next criminal they're preparing to be "elected" to finish the job of selling out America to the oil companies and China.

Oh gawd. I love the little left wing nutjobs who spew this kind of stuff, shake their pot-smoke stained hands and collect unemployment while blaming everything on the current Administration.

zarniwoop said,
Bring back Oregon Trail!!!

that game was sooo BAMF

but video games like this won't raise awareness. people just need to learn the facts.