Owlchemy Labs Talks Smuggle Truck Controversy

February 16, 2011 -

The small Massachusetts-based developer that found itself in the national spotlight over an illegal immigration transport game talks with Gamasutra about the public dust-up over and the misconception (in their view) of the company's stance on illegal immigration. Company founder Alex Schwartz spoke to Gamasutra about the response to the game, and how the company hopes that it can shed some light on immigration issues.

First, Schwartz tackles a question about whether the game would work without the smuggling theme:

"What we've gathered from tester feedback is that the mechanics are fun and challenging. What happens to be drawn on the sprites for the items in the back of the truck doesn't change the gameplay in any significant way. It does however augment the message and the theme, which can affect a player's engagement with the game."

When asked if Smuggle Truck was a clever way to garner extra attention through controversy, Schwartz said:

"We expected press to pick up on the game. We also knew that people would remark on the concept and spread the buzz. It's been our public intention all along to bring the issue of immigration reform to light and to kickstart the process of getting people discussing it."

Finally, one of the most important questions asked was about the development teams' opinions on illegal immigration:

"There are major issues with the current system in place for legal immigration. It requires serious reform. We feel that with reform, the pressures that drive illegal immigration can be lessened, and more people will have a legal choice when it comes to immigration. 

As for the details and specifics of the reform process, we're currently working with multiple immigration reform groups in Massachusetts to figure out how to best focus the discussions toward relevant reform topics.
"

Smuggle Truck has not been approved by Apple yet for iOS devices. The game will also be released as a web game by way of Kongregate.

Source: Gamasutra


 
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Wonderkarpthere also arent "Various Factions" in GamerGate. No Harrassment has been linked directly too GamerGate. I'm deep in the trenchs and there arent any factions.11/21/2014 - 11:38am
NeenekoI would disagree that it has 'never been the case', for various factions perhaps not, but what made GG blow up was the intersection between submerged issues, and that is one of them.11/21/2014 - 11:33am
Neeneko@Zippy - to a point, but consumers also tend to like what they are already comfortable with, so tropes in general tend to have a comforting feel. Just like mechanics and controls tend to be similiar.11/21/2014 - 11:31am
ZippyDSMleeAren't most sexiest tropes jsut cheap/poor creativity more so than pure markaibility?11/21/2014 - 11:19am
Wonderkarpbut some people have been successfull in drawing attention too themselves to steer the conversation from ethics in journalism to women in gaming when that has never been the case.11/21/2014 - 11:17am
WonderkarpZachary, not really. the Quinn story was just more gas to a ready to burn fire. If it wasnt her, it would have been some other scandal just waiting to happen. Just look at Doritosgate. It was the 11 Dead Gamer articles that threw the match in the fire.11/21/2014 - 11:16am
PHX Corphttp://www.polygon.com/2014/11/21/7258775/ubisoft-suggests-assassins-creed-unity-players-remove-all-game Ubisoft suggests Assassin's Creed Unity players remove all game contacts to prevent crashes -Facepalm-11/21/2014 - 10:56am
E. Zachary KnightWonderkarp, That may not be an issue with you and the faction of gamergate you associate with, but it was and still is a strong influence on gamergate and its founding.11/21/2014 - 10:12am
NeenekoSales are abstract and spread across the group, but coworker perception of 'common sense wisdom' in design, that is what gets advancement or hirings.11/21/2014 - 10:02am
NeenekoThe one complaint I would have about the piece is it over reliance on the idea that markets and sales drive industry trends. While those are macro level factors, a larger one is the aggregate effect career advancement.11/21/2014 - 10:02am
NeenekoThat gets into the article's point about there being many factions within GG.11/21/2014 - 9:48am
Wonderkarprest of the article seems good.11/21/2014 - 9:40am
Wonderkarpreading the article. I take offence to "girls and women embracing video games as a form of entertainment" as one of the issues. Its not. Certain people made it, but its never been an issue and many many people within GamerGate are Female11/21/2014 - 9:36am
NeenekoDid anyone else catch the GG flareup on "Crash Course: World History"? I am still trying to figure out if it was a raid or something.11/21/2014 - 9:36am
E. Zachary KnightReason returns to the Gamergate discussion. http://reason.com/archives/2014/11/20/gamergate-consumerism-as-culture-war11/21/2014 - 9:29am
NeenekoI would so play a kid/chibi version of AC.11/21/2014 - 9:29am
ZippyDSMleehttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASmpwURXRaM#t=88 neat but it looks mindlessly online.... blah11/21/2014 - 9:24am
WonderkarpImagine AC as a Kids Show? "Dance your Cares Away, Worry for another dayyy, let the music play*bumbum* down in Assassins Creed!"11/21/2014 - 8:54am
Cheater87http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2014-11-20-ubisoft-wants-to-expand-assassins-creed-audience-to-kids11/21/2014 - 8:32am
WonderkarpI suffer from mild OCD so its probably just that. Keeps my mind on certain things I wish it didnt11/21/2014 - 8:26am
 

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