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Nuovi 'Papers prega’ Videogiochi potrebbe sorprendervi

15 Agosto 2013 No Comment
Cortesia ABC News

Nuovi 'Papers prega’ video game aims to humanize the job of a border agent. Courtesy of Pope.

da Christina Constantini
Maggio 3, 2013

“Questa persona è un cittadino legale del mio paese o di un immigrato non autorizzato, terrorista, spy, o contrabbandiere?”

Questa è la domanda principale che dovrete chiedervi se si gioca la nuova partita “Papers prega,” che getta gli utenti nel ruolo di agente di frontiera.

Lucas Papa, un americano il video game designer che vivono in Giappone, ha fatto di videogiochi di tutti i tipi di 20 anni. Ma la sua ultima partita arriva in un momento in cui l'immigrazione è una coincidenza assunto un ruolo centrale nella politica americana.

Ispirato da George Orwell 1984 and by the checkpoints separating East and West Berlin during the Cold War, the game is set in an imaginary nation called Aristotzka in 1982. The challenge is to inspect immigrant documents and spot discrepancies.

The game is inherently susceptible to critique because the name “Papers prega” is often associated with Arizona’s controversial SB1070 bill (which critics say encourages racial profiling of Latinos). The game’s premise is also dependent on the broad stereotype that there are a large number ofbadimmigrants trying to get into your country. But Pope says he’s actually tried to keep the highly political topic as unpolitical as possible.

I have some opinions [about politics] but they’re not particularly strong and I’m intentionally trying to not politicize the game,” Pope said. “My goal is more to connect players with the difficult decisions an immigration inspector has to make. The focus is on the low-level task of trying to manage a job and a family when the right thing to do isn’t so clear.

“Papers prega” is compelling to many users in game discussion boards because it stands in contrast to those popular games which encourage users to evade and kill authority figures (Take, Grand Theft Auto, for example.) Instead, in Pope’s game, the user plays an ordinary person who must make difficult decisions about who to let into their country, in order to hold onto their job and feed their virtual family every day.

I really like the ideas behind ’empathy gameslike Papers Please and Cart Life,” wrote one user last month, in reference to another game which simulates the difficulties of being a self-employed street vendor.

This is not the first time video game designers have taken on the issue of immigrationsome in more cruel ways than others. In 2007, Breakthrough TV, an immigrant-rights advocacy organization, designed a game called ICED to show gamers what it would be like to try to survive in a virtual New York City as an unauthorized immigrant.

In stark contrast, the browser-based game calledBorder Patrol”, which was labeled one of the “10 Most Racist Video Gamesby, awards points to users who shoot cartoon Mexican immigrants, including a pregnant mother referred to as abreeder,” as they cross the border. The site claims that it’s been played more than a million times.

But Pope’s game is a far cry from the sadism ofBorder Patrol,” dealing instead with key emotional complexities of a job on the border. In real life, more than half of all border patrol agents are Latino, e some report an emotional paradox in carrying out their duties. Similarly, a handful of users found the “Papers prega” game difficult to want towin.

There were moments when I wanted to let someone in I shouldn’t, rules be damned, like when I had to split up a husband and wife,” wrote game reviewer Jessica Cook. “Sì, [the game] actually gave me a little sympathy for my real life border guards.

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