Wednesday, May 17, 2006

el emigrante

caution

I could have made this another "why the devil has more vacation-time than santa" post but later changed my mind about the title. A few days ago I read an article about a racist video game called Border Patrol (available free online) where the objective was to shoot Mexicans trying to cross the border; you could kill a "drug smuggler" a "mexican nationalist" or a "breeder" (a pregnant woman with two children). In the course of looking for the game I also found Krazie Bone's Ghetto Chase where the player runs from the police through various backyards (collecting crack pipes and marijuana leaves for extra points), Kaboom! The Suicide Bombing Game (pretty self-explanatory) along with many other games in a similar vein. On some level, I've known for a while that video games have been pushing the envelope and getting more and more extreme, but I'm actually (a little) surprised by how many games out there are racist, stereotypical, crudely violent and offensive. It makes me feel old and crotchety.

For a more academic look at the border patrol game, read Buzzle.com's "Border Patrol" Video Game: Appalling Social Irresponsibility

And for a slightly different sort of game, check out El Emigrante where you get to be a Mexican mouse (Speedy Gonzalez?) on a bicycle fleeing from the police. It is different from Border Patrol in that the player identifies with the immigrant and it is different from Kaboom and Ghetto Chase in that it doesn't blatantly employ stereotypes. In contrast with the previous games, El Emigrante isn't racially offensive but it is deafeatist. (There is no way to win. The immigrant always gets caught, it's just a matter of time).

What do you think?

4 comments:

Renegade Eye said...

I found this blog surfing.

Continue your strong and principled position against racism.

Abdul-Halim V. said...

Thanks, I appreciate the support

Hakim Abdullah said...

Asalaamu Alaikum,

I have added your link to my blog, masha Allah.

Salaamat.

zee said...

Hi, great blog!

Found it while browsing 'Front-Line'

Will def be returning.