Video Game Tells the Untold Story of Immigrants in Detention

In recent months, I have frequently posted on the inhumane conditions of immigrant detention. From the story of Ana Romero, whose suspicious death is still haunting her Kentucky community, to Hiu Lui “Jason” Ng, who died after being systematically ignored by prison guards while cancer ate away his health, the injustice is shocking.

Now, Breakthrough has an interactive site called “Homeland Guantanamos – The untold story of immigrant detention in the United States.” Homeland Guantanamos is a video game that puts the player in the position of a journalist, and walks them through many of the factual aspects of immigrant detention.

The New York Times featured the game in a recent article, stating:

The fictional framework plays fast and loose with traditional rules of journalism — the reporter takes an undercover job as a detention guard and writes a first-person appeal for change rather than an article — but the content encountered along the way is backed by links to real newspaper articles, court documents and other factual material.

The game is an homage to Boubacar Bah, an immigrant who died in detention after being denied medical care in 2007. In the video game,

..the player [is] a reporter seeking clues in the death of Mr. Bah, 52, who suffered a skull fracture and brain hemorrhages in the Elizabeth Detention Center in New Jersey. A cartoon guide leads the way to actual video testimonials of former detainees and information that unlocks the mystery of Mr. Bah’s fate.

In the end, the game leads you to a memorial wall, with the names of the more than 87 detainees who have died since 2003.

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