How fine is the “interactive satire” line? The Boston-based tech company, Owlchemy Labs, argues that its upcoming iPhone game “Smuggle Truck: Immigration Operation” was made to express concern for the immigration reform, not trivialize it.
By speeding up or slowing down you can “catch” the immigrants inside the back of a purple pick-up truck. If you miss, your score drops. If you win, they’re awarded a green card.
“Smuggle Truck’s” Web site says, “Smuggle Truck was inspired by the frustration our friends have experienced in trying to immigrate to the United States. 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.”
And just when you thought the company couldn’t get more backwards about the issue, Owlchemy Labs opened up the game to outside programmers in a contest to add suggestions and new levels. The winner gets to have his or her face on one of the immigrants in the game. And to “avoid” stereotypes they say, “One of the immigrants is a nerdy looking guy with a pocket protector” (qué?!!). They also didn’t specify which border this game was inspired on. Just don’t mind the cactus-filled, desert-looking backdrop and the baby-dropping pick-up.
“Smuggle Truck” is expected to launch in March as a $3-download for iPhones and iPads.