Announcing the newest anti-immigrant game for your iPhone/iPad coming this March: Smuggle Truck!
As you can watch in the Smuggle Truck teaser, this angry birds-esque game defies you to drive a truck as fast as you can through desert-like terrain while avoiding obstacles like potholes, ravines and cacti. The goal? Keep as few immigrants as possible from flying off your truck bed and dying in the desert or under the wheels of your truck.
This bad-taste game trivializes the traumatic and often fatal experience of crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and reduces the human casualties of our immigration system to south-park style emoticons. As Jorge Mario Cabrera of Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of LA (CHIRLA) writes, "Close to 500 people die every year seeking a better life for themselves and their families, and countless others are raped, maimed, robbed, beaten, or kidnapped without anyone ever finding out. Crossing a nation's border, risking your dignity, your well-being, even your life, is no game." I couldn't agree more.
Owlchemy contends that this game is "interactive satire" that intends to "stir up discussion on ways to improve the U.S. immigration system." But the problem is that the game actually shows none of the struggles--not a single one (unless of course you consider potholes to be significant barriers to U.S. immigration). In the simplistic world of this game, you get a green card for crossing the border--it's that easy! And besides imagery of flying, dying and abandoned immigrant semulacrums, nothing really happens in Smuggle Truck. I'm all for satire as a tool for instruction and I would love to see this concept done well--but there's just nothing funny or instructive about this game at all.
Apple needs to hear that iPhone and iPad customers agree--this game is offensive, irresponsible and just plain stupid. Tell Apple to support immigrant rights and block this offensive app from its product line.