Los Angeles (CA) – Suki is a Japanese student on the run from US immigration authorities and you can experience what he is going through in a new game called ICED. Short for I Can End Deportation, the game places players in New York where they must avoid police and do good deeds to gain citizenship. The makers of the game say it’s an educational tool aimed at teens, but critics claim it trivializes illegal immigration.
ICED is a free 74 MB download that is available for either PCs and Macs. Players start off in the middle of the city and have to go to various areas to either do good deeds or criminal acts. Bad deeds decrease player’s points and they are thrown into “detention” if enough horrible deeds are done. Players that stay out of trouble can eventually get their citizen papers.
The makers of ICED, Breakthrough Production out of New York, claim the game gives valuable information and insight into the plight of illegal aliens. Throughout the game players are present with pop-up immigration information called “Myth versus Fact”. The information highlights the group’s belief that many immigrants become illegal because the legal routes are too confusing or cumbersome.
Some people applaud the game for bringing immigration issues to light, but others say the game pokes fun at a serious subject. You can see some of those reactions in a video segment done by the Associated Press.
The game itself is done in first and third-person views much like the original Grand Theft Auto games. Players can pick between five people who have various immigration problems. Suki, for example, is a 23-year-old student who didn’t realize that he had to take a minimum number of college units to maintain his education visa. He is now on the run from the cops.
We didn’t play the game much because the motion was too jerky for our tastes. Another problem is the insanely long loading time that forces you to read and listen to immigration information before you can start. You can download the game here.