L.A. Times on Games & Immigration Debate

Do video games have a place in the current debate over immigration policy? 

Reporter Anna Gorman of the Los Angeles Times probes the relationship between games and immigration. Along the way she quotes Suzanne Seggerman, president of Games for Change:

Games are really good at exploring complex issues, and what issue is more complex than immigration?  …A game can allow for a new perspective and, in some cases, new conviction.

Human rights organization Breakthrough recently partnered with New York City high-school students to create ICED! I Can End Deportation (screenshot at left) The game was presented at last month’s Games for Change conference and will be released online later this year. Mallika Dutt, Breakthrough’s executive director, said:

Especially for the age group below 35, online media has become a very central part of their lives. If we want to engage with these constituencies, we have to engage in the method and tools that make more sense to them.

University of Denver students, operating under a grant from mtvU and Cisco Systems, are working on Squeezed (video available) a game designed to raise empathy for migrant laborers. UD student Porter Schutz told the Times that members of the Squeezed team held diverse views about immigration:

It’s difficult to sort of rock the boat without vilifying anybody.

Harry Pachon, president of USC’s Tomas Rivera Policy Institute credited games with bringing the issue to those who might other wise pay little attention:

What this does is open up the world of the undocumented.

Gorman also mention the racist Flash game Border Patrol which appeared on the web in 2006. It’s objective?

Keep them out… at any cost. 

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  1. 0
    Tanya says:

    I myself am married to an illegal immigrant and have three kids with him. He is now finishing up a three year sentence in a federal prison for illegal passage into the country.Which I feel is unfair, and unjust. Illegals come here and do jobs that us as Americans feel are beneath us. Nobody here in the United States wouldnt even be here if it wasn’t for Immigrants. Immigrants made America what it is. We are supposed to be the land of oppurtunity, yet we want to reject those that want to do better for themselves. Americans are now wanting the legal citizans here to not get the same rights as us. What is the big deal? If they are legal and do things by the book and pay taxes , then I dont see the big deal

  2. 0
    rdeegvainl ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Any sort of media should have the right to look into any sort of issue. That is the freedom of speech I fight for. To bad I lost mine on the dotted line

  3. 0
    ZippyDSMlee ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    Could Border Patrol be a in poor taste dark satirical rant over the governmental inaction over immigration

    Ever think that? must it all be ZOMG teh evil?

    Once the ,entertainment news really needs to stop spinning things so the rapid sheeple dogs wont get worked into a fury…

  4. 0
    saganaki says:

    I’m pretty sure you meant to use “its” as opposed to “it’s” in that last part. As it stands, it seems like you’re asking if Border Patrol is objective.

  5. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Immigration is all fine and dandy, but I take a particularly dim view of illegal immigration. There were some stats on the Squeezed page about it, but I couldn’t tell if they were defending it or not. Every job you give to someone in the country illegally is one less job available to a U.S. citizen.

  6. 0
    4gotn says:


    Not necessarily. There are a LOT of jobs given to illegals (as opposed to the euphemistic “undocumented”) that people in our own country simply won’t do. The very reason some places are so willing to hire illegals is that our own citizens don’t want the jobs. I mean, would you want to pick tomatoes for 10-12 hours a day for minimum wage, just for example?

    Now please don’t take that as my defense of border jumpers. I personally believe that anyone who doesn’t have the proper respect for our laws to immigrate legally should just stay put in their own country. But on the other hand, when did we get to the point that our own poor are too good for the type of work currently being offered to illegals? Maybe the whole thing can be traced to welfare…

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