A controversial online game has launched stateside.
Billed as Europe’s most popular browser-based game, Bumrise, from German developer Farbflut Entertainment, starts with players in the role of a homeless person. The aim is to eventually rise socially, with an ultimate goal of achieving elite Manhattanite status. Players can earn money by collecting bottles or by learning to play an instrument and busking for money on the streets. Players can team up with their friends to play the game together.
The game has rankled feathers around the world, with the Telegraph reporting on outrage from French homeless groups after the game’s launch in that country. A spokesperson for the Red Cross called the game, “…a disgrace, it's degrading, it's humiliating to make the homeless the butt of derision.”
For its part, Farbflut claims that part of the proceeds from the game have been “regularly” donated to homeless organizations. The company added:
Although Bumrise holds many cliches and stereotypes, it is set upon a satirical and exaggerated context. With help from our users, we assist the homeless people in Hamburg, and soon New York, with a portion of our revenues, thus bringing attention to their situation.
The game is also available on FaceBook under the name StreetRivals, “a more global name to incorporate all international versions into one game.”