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Latino Daily News

Friday April 29, 2011

Apple: No to Immigrant-Smuggling Game “Smuggle Truck” for iPhone, Yes to “Snuggle Truck”

Apple: No to Immigrant-Smuggling Game “Smuggle Truck” for iPhone, Yes to “Snuggle Truck”

Photo: Apple allows "Snuggle Truck" but not "Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration" App for iPhone

Click Here to Enlarge Photo

Apple Inc. has rejected an iPhone game in which users would be smuggling immigrants through a desert while trying to stop them from being thrown from the truck.

The game “Smuggle Truck: Operation Immigration” was turned down by the Apple App Store, said the developers Owlchemy Labs. However, a revamped game now called “Snuggle Truck” – which allows players to “bring cute animals from the wilderness to the comfort of a zoo” – was approved and is now available as an iPhone App here.

The original “Smuggle Truck” drew attention from immigration advocates after information about it was released. This game has users driving a truck full of immigrants across what appears to be the U.S.-Mexico border, and over cliffs, mountains, and dead animals. As the truck flies and jumps, immigrants fall out. The point of the game is to get over the border with as many immigrants still in the truck as possible.

While the Owlchemy was under fire for allegedly trivializing immigrants’ struggle to come to the U.S., developer Alex Shwartz said the game was actually intended to bring attention to the unjust immigration system.

“There were definitely some misconceptions,” said Schwartz. “We went with the satire and we were kind of half way through development when news picked it up ... and inferred what we were going for.”

But while the game will not be available for iPhones, it is still available for Macs and PCs for $5. And supporting Shwartz’s claims, is the “legal immigration mode,” which “gives players the opportunity to sit in a waiting room and stare at a clock that counts down over the next 20 years” to showcase just how long the legal immigration process takes.