The Migrant Trail
Experience hazards facing migrants and Border Patrol along border.
The Migrant Trail is a single-player simulation game examining the life of migrants and border patrol agents on the U.S.-Mexico border as part of The Undocumented transmedia campaign. The player may choose to play as one of several individuals on either side and is always first introduced to a prologue explaining that character’s history and motivations.
Gameplay as a migrant is styled after The Oregon Trail, in which the player must purchase supplies for the journey before setting off on the path and encountering events. Additionally, border patrols roam the map, requiring the player to choose paths that avoid patrols or double back in an attempt to escape capture. Success is incredibly difficult, and the player often dies if they’re not captured by border patrol.
As a border patrol agent, the player drives one of those same patrol cars, searching for groups attempting to cross the border. Once a group or individual is found, much of the player’s time — a limited resource for border agents — can be spent tending to injuries and ensuring captured migrants receive proper care, for the objective of the border patrol agent is not simply to capture as many migrants as possible, but also to prevent deaths and injuries.
The multiple facets behind these two sides are constructed to be complimentary rather than oppositional. When switching from migrant to border patrol, the focus on providing aid combined with an understanding of how brutal conditions are for migrant groups produces empathy and drives the player towards success from a humanitarian perspective.