Racist Video Game Incites Anger

ByABC News
May 1, 2006, 1:56 PM

May 1, 2006 -- -- There's a video game making its way around the Internet, and many who have come across it say it crosses a line.

"Border Patrol" is a Flash-based game that lets players shoot at Mexican immigrants as they try to cross the border into the United States."There's one simple rule," the game's opening screen states, "keep them out ... at any cost!"

The game first surfaced in 2002, but amid the national uproar over illegal immigration, it has reared its ugly head once again.

"This was created by someone who had a racist agenda," said Brian Marcus, director of Internet monitoring for the Anti-Defamation League. "The person who made it intended that the message be racist and meant for it to spread hatred."

"Border Patrol" upsets many immigrants' rights groups, as well as others. But the game is nothing new, as hate groups and those just looking to ruffle some feathers have long used Flash-based games to spread messages of hate.

In "Border Patrol," players are told to target one of three immigrant groups portrayed in a negative, stereotypical way as the figures rush past a sign that reads "Welcome to the United States." The immigrants are caricatured as bandoleer-wearing "Mexican nationalists," tattoo-touting "drug smugglers" and pregnant "breeders" who sprint with children in tow.

The sign contains an American flag on which the stars representing the 50 states have been replaced with a Jewish Star of David, and a small sign that appears below says "Welfare Office" with an arrow.

"Extremist groups are always looking for new ways to get their message out," said Marcus, "and there's a lot of talk about how, when they make these games, they get a lot of attention."

While the timeliness and offensiveness have attracted a great deal of national media attention, "Border Patrol" isn't the first game of its kind.

Marcus points to games like "Ethnic Cleansing," in which players fight off groups that in the game embody racial, religious and sexual stereotypes to cleanse society.

Though he admits that sometimes the intent is more innocuous, the result can be the same.