These days, whenever a major political debate erupts you can pretty much guess that someone is going to make a Flash animation about it. Quite often, Flash games display subtle, biting wit or an over-the-top comic flair.
Border Patrol, a Flash game currently making the rounds on the Internet, has neither.
The issue targeted by Border Patrol is that of illegal immigrant workers in the U.S., currently a red-hot political topic. Most of the debate about illegal immigration centers on America's border with Mexico, so it's especially troubling that in Border Patrol the player's tasks include shooting "Mexican nationalists," "drug dealers," and "breeders" - pregnant Mexican women - who try to rush the border towards a welfare office.
Finishing the game displays a derogatory name for illegal immigrants, as well as a phrase such as "Remember the Alamo," or "Got a green card?"
Links to Border Patrol have been circulating via e-mail in recent days. CBS News reports that they attempted to track down its author without success. The game apparently originated anonymously on a server in the United Kingdom. Border Patrol has subsequently spread to mirror sites, including several racist websites.
Francisco Estrada, the Sacramento Director for the Mexican-American Legal Defense & Education Fund (MALDEF), a civil rights organization which focused on statewide public policy, commented on the animation:
"It's sad to see the demonstration and promotion of hate since what we've seen over the past couple of weeks is a more dignified rational approach."
CM: If this game arrived in your e-mail, you'd have to wonder, who's more tasteless, the jerk who made it, or the person who forwarded it?
-Reporting from the not-so-heavily-guarded US-Canada border, GP Correspondent Colin "Jabrwock" McInnes