¡Game On!

Cultural stereotypes? There’s an app or that.

Boston-based Owlchemy Labs has caused quite a stir with Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration—an iPhone and iPad game that consists of driving a beat-up truck filled with Mexican immigrants across the U.S./Mexico border.

Set to be released in March 2011, developers quickly took to Truck’s official page to dispel any cries of stereotyping, as they the allege was born out of  “frustration our friends have experienced in trying to immigrate to the United States.”

They further claim it’s a work of social satire on the United State’s “problematic” immigration system.

This idea originated as a result of learning that the process of legal immigration was not as straightforward as we had assumed. 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 comment was thrown around that “it’s so tough to legally immigrate to the U.S., it’s almost easier to smuggle yourself over the border,” and thus Smuggle Truck was born.

The object of the game is for the driver to deliver his “cargo” safely across the border. Those that do, get rewarded with a green card. If that wasn’t motivation enough to make it a smooth ride, babies are also born in the back of the truck.

While no character outlines have been released, leaked screen caps reveal a day laborer, a Spanish señorita, a masked luchador, an actual alien, and a dead ringer for Sarah Palin, as part o the motley crew.

Sure, “touching” on  the issue by depicting newborns being flung from the back of a Chevy might seem far-fetched but hey, they probably know what they’re doing because as we all know, historically, preppy Bostonian techies are infamous for having illegal sidekick “friends.”

Now, move over narcocorridos, narco fashion and narconovelas, the narco videogame is here.

With a slightly less playful edge than Truck, France-based publisher Ubisoft promises to bring “the lawlessness of the Old West into present day,” with Call of Juarez: The Cartel.

Slated or a summer 2011 release, the 3rd installment in the first-person shooter Western series takes users to the mean streets of  Ciudad Juárez and encourages them to “take justice in your own hands.”

You’ll embark on a bloody road trip from Los Angeles to Juarez, Mexico immersing yourself in a gritty plot with interesting characters and a wide variety of game play options.

Reads the game’s official site.   

“I think this should be taken very seriously considering the large-scale demonization of Mexico and the Mexican people,” Dr. Kathleen Staudt, Professor of Political Science at the University of Texas at El Paso told Fox News Latino

“People who don’t understand the border and don’t know the border are now going to view it in a caricature game,” Dr. Staudt, continued. “The whole picture of the border is one in which people are suffering tragedies but also it’s about the resilience of the people.”

In 2010, the death toll in the troubled border city surpassed a record 3,000 according to UPI.

Hey game designers, how’s about coming up with something more light-hearted? Here’s a few Zonkey-approved ideas: Super Mario López, The Chronicles of Niurka and of course, the adventure-filled epic The Legend of Xóchitl.

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