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Immigration Video Game—Grand Theft Nation
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February 20, 2008, 04:28 PM
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This is a new video game, in which the object is to play the role of an alien, break and enter into the United States, and stay, avoiding deportation.
There were times in the last two years that Heidi Boisvert wasn't sure if the game she was teaching herself to make should be fun. It's a game about immigration that puts players in the virtual bodies of one of four fictional people not born in the United States. The player's goal in "ICED"? To not get deported.

The player runs through a fictional city, dashing through icons that represent acts of civic good like planting trees, donating blood or volunteering at a soup kitchen, and answering questions about immigration in America. But if they give wrong answers, a "Grand Theft Auto"-style "wanted" system is activated, sending government agents who are determined to detain and deport. Boisvert said that she and her colleague wanted to be sure that there was "not necessarily a pleasure component, but ... engagement with the game as a game at the same time we're educating people about these ideas."

Should people enjoy the game? Not really.

[MTV Multiplayer » Should A New Game About Immigration Be Fun? Not Necessarily, Say Developers]

Because illegal immigration is wrong, like Grand Theft Auto? No, because you`re supposed to feel bad for the real-life border crossers, visa overstayers, and other illegal immigrants. So far, the game doesn`t come with either Al Qaeda or MS-13 modules.

It`s a project of a group I`ve never heard of called Breakthrough, whose international mission is to build "human rights culture." This would make more sense if immigration was a human right, which it isn`t.