Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Anti-deportation video game story on The World

The World is running my story on a video game called ICED today. ICED stands for I Can End Deportation. The game was released a few weeks go by Breakthrough, a non-profit immigration and human rights advocacy group. Players choose one of five characters, listen to their stories, and then wander through a 3D version of New York City trying to avoid detention and deportation.

A game where you play a character running from immigration officers is understandably controversial, so in addition to talking to Breakthrough's director, one of the game designers, and a group of children who agreed to play the game and share their thoughts, I spoke with Heather Mac Donald at the conservative think tank the Manhattan Institute.

Overall I think the story came out pretty well. I'd probably remix the game music a bit if I had a chance, and it's always annoying trying to fit several hours worth of interviews into a 4 and a half minute story. I had tons of good tape that I didn't get to use.

I'd like to thank Carlyle Leach, director of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture's Junior Scholars Program for helping me find some kids and young adults to test the game.

From a technical perspective, all of the interviews were recorded using my Sony PCM-D50 recorder and EV RE-50 dynamic microphone.

You can listen to streaming audio of the story from The World's web site. For some reason the direct link to the story seems to stop playing about 2 minutes in, but you can also find the story by streaming the full program and skipping ahead to about 35:25.

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