Why This Mexican-American Designed A Video Sport That Simulates Border Crossings


Texas artist Gonzalo Alvarez is hoping to point out simply how perilous crossing the border may be by means of a online game. 

The 23-year-old illustrator and game designer lately launched his artwork set up “Borders,” which includes a retro arcade-style sport that challenges gamers to outlive the tough situations and obstacles many immigrants face when crossing the U.S.-Mexico border. 

“The political marketing campaign of final yr introduced out a whole lot of xenophobic hate in direction of [undocumented] and authorized immigrants, so I began enjoying with the thought of individuals simulating crossing the border by means of a online game,” Alvarez informed The Huffington Publish. “I started exploring and researching indie video games and ‘Papers, Please,’ a sport the place you play as a border patrol agent, was one which struck me probably the most by means of its political and ethical commentary. This sport impressed me to create one thing from the other standpoint, that of the immigrant.”

Courtesy of Gonzalo Alvarez

Gonzalo Alvarez poses along with his artwork set up and online game “Borders.” 

Alvarez’s dad and mom each crossed the border and have shared tales of the journey with him through the years. The artist used their experiences to design his online game.

“I hope that to start with folks can start to see video video games as greater than only a commodity or senseless leisure, and extra as a real creative medium of expression,” he mentioned. “The second agenda was to hopefully have folks take this expertise and have the ability to empathize with immigrants.”

The illustrator additionally mentioned that “as a residing testomony” of the work and battle of his immigrant dad and mom, he hoped folks may see the “advantages immigrants’ youngsters can present to America.”

Courtesy of Gonzalo Alvarez

An in depth-up look of “Borders.” 

Within the sport, gamers should efficiently keep away from border patrol and “los moscos” (the flies), what his dad and mom referred to as helicopters, plus acquire water jugs to stave off dehydration.

Alvarez says the extra folks play the sport, which can be downloaded for free online, the extra gamers will perceive the message he’s making an attempt to get throughout.

“The sport includes a mechanic the place a skeleton is completely left behind on the map within the location a participant dies,” he informed HuffPost. “As of now, there are over 600 skeletons littered throughout the desert of the sport, skeletons of those that have performed and sadly didn’t make it. I hope that seeing all these skeletons of tons of of different gamers may also help put in perspective the tons of of lives which can be misplaced to the Mexican desert.”

Courtesy of Gonzalo Alvarez

This isn’t simply any online game.