Business & Economy

Mexican entrepreneurs create El Chapo video game to fund their studies

By Mariana Gonzalez

Guadalajara, Mexico, Sep 24 (efe-epa).- Eight Mexican graduate students have created and brought to market a video game inspired by notorious drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” (Shorty) Guzman and plan to use the proceeds to fund their education costs.

In “El Chapo the Game,” the erstwhile head of Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, who was convicted of drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes last year in the United States and sentenced to life in prison, tries to save his hometown of La Tuna from an alien invasion and must gather coins to earn additional lives.

The spokesman for the group of students, 35-year-old co-creator Luis Martinez, said in an interview with Efe on Thursday that the game has an educational focus and in no way justifies criminal behavior.

“There’s no violence of any sort. We instead help develop cognitive skills and good decision-making in the players,” he said.

Noting that Guzman is a name familiar to everyone, Martinez said all that he and his colleagues did was take some elements from real life and portray them in a video game.

“We’re not inciting violence nor (encouraging people) to become drug traffickers nor anything close to that,” he added.

In the two-dimensional, eight-level game, players control Guzman’s movements and help him escape from his enemies on foot, in a car or via airplane.

One of the characters alludes to the mother of the notorious drug trafficker, while other imagery in the game recalls Guzman’s two escapes from maximum-security prisons in Mexico prior to his eventual extradition to the US.

Martinez, who earned a graduate degree in information systems from a German university, said the game’s creators received the green light for the project from the “El Chapo 701” fashion brand, which is headed by Guzman’s eldest daughter, Alejandrina Guzman.

But she is not serving as a partner in the project.

The entrepreneurs – six men and two women – spent around three months developing and programming the video game.

Three of the eight levels are available in the first version of the game; the remaining levels are to be released in the coming weeks and will feature some figures who were important in Chapo Guzman’s life.

The game creators, whose international scholarship funding was cut amid the coronavirus crisis by decision of the National Council of Sciences and Technology (Conacyt), are trying to raise funds from the sale of the video game to cover their educational expenses.

Originally from Mexico City and the states of Jalisco, Guanajuato and Nuevo Leon, they had been receiving financial assistance for graduate study in the sciences, technology and corporate finance that ranged from between 30,000 pesos and 50,000 pesos ($1,300 and $2,200) a month, Martinez said.

“El Chapo the Game” is currently in the process of being registered with the Mexican Industrial Property Institute (IMPI). EFE-EPA


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