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access_time September 3, 2013 at 12:59 PM in Culture by Charlie Grammer

Kids utilize Minecraft to stay in touch with their deported friend

Children utilize Minecraft to stay in touch.

Children utilize Minecraft to stay in touch.

Rodrigo Guzman, a 10-year-old child who was deported, certainly has some faithful friends at his old school.

Upon hearing this, his friends, who believe that this action is extremely unfair, launched into action, starting an online petition (which currently has 2,788 signatures) and utilizing Facebook and YouTube in order to attempt to bring their dear, deported friend back.

Their first move was to petition the Berkeley City Council and school district, which supported their cause. They also met with Rep. Barbara Lee to see if she could intervene, and have written letters to President Obama. One such letter, written by Kyle Kuwahara, state emphatically, “We have to fight for Rodrigo’s rights because he is not able to do it himself! Today I’m writing to you on Rosa Parks’ 100th birthday to do the right thing. To allow Rodrigo and his family to return to their home, school and friends in Berkeley.”

Though the campaign built momentum fairly quickly, the children knew that, even if successful, things would not move quickly, as there “were too many agencies and politicians with rules that didn’t seem to share their urgency”.

With no other thoughts in mind, Kyle and his twin, Scott, turned to Minecraft. In the game, they created a virtual sanctuary where they can remain in contact with their dear friend, Rodrigo. After all, in the game, despite the Creepers and Zombie Pigmen (which the children find less frightening than the real world!), they can create their own rules and it would feel as if Rodrigo was still next to them.

The Jefferson students and their families rented a server, which they installed the game on. This action allowed the children (yes, even Rodrigo) to play together in their own private little haven, as long as they have a way to access the Internet.

Upon receiving the news about the server, Rodrigo stated, “I want to say thank you for this, because it’s helping me. But I still hope to come back and see everyone again.”

When asked why they turned to Minecraft, Scott answered, “We just wanted to be able to hang out somewhere with Rodrigo where none of this other stuff mattered. The more we learn about immigration, the more unfair it seems.”

Will Rodrigo be able to return to his home in the United States? Or will the children be forced to only communicate via the online game?

Thanks, LA Times.


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