As your truly ill-advised adventure continues, you hitch a ride in the back of the truck. It's hard to believe a driver would be okay with something this close to kidnapping, but he takes you to the next city, which is nothing but a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Every window is broken and all the trees are dead. You meet a man who looks like Steven Seagal named Tio Juan. Which is maybe a pun? All we know is that no video game protagonist has ever encountered a more certain death than the little boy in Spanish For Everyone.
"Soplones obtienen suturas."
Finally, you end up tracking down your "friend" and get your DS back. It was a long and dangerous journey for a toy that costs about $50 used. Along the way, you learn that Mexico and its people are lawless but helpful, which is a troubling lesson to teach a child learning Spanish via video games.
And while we're here ...
Call Of Juarez: The Cartel Portrays Sex Slavery The Wrong Way Around
Call Of Juarez: The Cartel takes place in a topsy-turvy world in which Americans want a war with Mexico, but their president doesn't. Then the Juarez Cartel blows up the DEA and the government launches an investigation. And one of the early leads is that the Cartel is involved in sex trafficking. It's pretty much the plot of Spanish For Everyone, but rated M.
You are sent on a mission to an LA brothel, where you rough up some prostitutes to get information and chase down the villain. After a savage beating, he reveals that the cartel has been kidnapping young women, injecting them with cocktails of various drugs, and storing them in warehouses to be shipped off to Mexico.
"Hola, Tio Juan! What are you doing here?"
The mission is a success, and you save several American women from being deported as contraband-filled Mexican sex slaves! Yay! Except ... every single thing about this scenario is backward.
As mentioned on Extra Credits, sex slavers don't, or very rarely, hijack women from America to smuggle across the Mexican border. The exact opposite is what law enforcement fights against every day -- women from Mexico and elsewhere are trafficked across the border to work in brothels in the U.S. The game somehow took a reprehensible problem and got every detail about it wrong because they thought it would make the target audience care about it more. ("Cartels stealing our women!?!?") It'd be like making a news channel that spreads the narrative that white Christians are being racially oppressed. It's stupid, sure, but it also makes the real problem harder to deal with.
Nathan Kamal lives in Oregon and writes there. He co-founded Asymmetry Fiction for all your fiction needs. Mike Bedard likes video games, especially if they're filled with Pokemons. If you follow him on Twitter, he'll be your friend. When he's not writing, Sam Hurley co-hosts the funniest movie review podcast you've never heard, available now on iTunes, SoundCloud and, Stitcher, He also tweets unrequited appreciation at his fave celebs here.
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