Conflict & Justice

Immigration video game

When this man was five, his parents came to the US from Mexico on visitors visas. They decided to stay and build a better life and when their visas expired, the man became an undocumented immigrant. That man isn't real, he's a character in the video game �Iced.� His story is based on real stories. Players can be one of five characters, including an asylum seeker from Haiti, a student from Japan and two green card holders. �Iced� is modeled after �Grand Theft Auto.� Ultimately there's no way to avoid detention and you can be kept in jail or even deported but the outcome is always random, regardless of the choices you make during the game. That's how America's immigration policies work, according to the director of the organization that developed the game. That's serious material for kids seeking to play video games, so I met up with two kids in Harlem and asked them if the video game is fun to play. These kids seem to think so. At one point they stop to consider one question raised by the game. This 18 year old says he never thought much about what it would be like to be an undocumented immigrant. Some people are concerned the game is teaching the wrong lesson, and say the game is unbalanced. This fellow at a conservative think tank says the game doesn't explore the negative impact of illegal immigration on jobs or health care, for example. The organization that developed the game has big plans for the video game.