Some say "any publicity is good publicity."
A new digital game for the iPhone and iPad wil be testing this theory.
Even before it is launched, "Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration" is getting a bunch of press, for its ability to polarize commentator's views.
Depending on who you listen to, it is either racist, or a dig at the state of our current immigration policy.
The game allows users to drive a truck full of immigrants across the U.S.-Mexican border and through the desert, all the while trying to keep the human cargo from falling off. Scores are calculated by the number of immigrants helped crossing the border. Players are awarded a "Green Card" for saving passengers' lives, or a "Smugglers Run" award to "pedal-to-the-medal reckless speed-run driving, with a minimum of one safe passenger."
The game's developers say the concept of the gae came out frustration friends felt while trying to immigrate to the U.S: "As we lived through a painful 12 months of our friend struggling through the absurd legal minefield that surrounds U.S. immigration, we felt that we should create a game that touches on the issue."
The company says the game developers worked hard to avoid depicting stereotype and specific locales. "With a satirical angle on a real issue, we want to create a game that is fun to play but also stirs up discussion on ways to improve the problematic immigration system in the United States."
Despite their reported intentions, critics are not buying it:
"This 'game' pokes fun and trivializes the harsh reality of our current immigration policy that leads to people putting their lives at stake and embarking on dangerous border crossings," Thanu Yakupitiyage of the New York Immigration Coalition told the New York Daily News in an interview about the game.