Vagamundo: A Migrant’s Tale

Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga

In his video game, Vagamundo: A Migrant’s Tale (2002), Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga explored the underground world of undocumented Latino immigrants. Zúñiga portrayed an immigrant navigating New York, where the character faces economic hardships and stereotypes that are very true to life. Each of the three levels in the game is based on interviews with immigrants as well as his own experiences. Zúñiga imitated the outdated graphics and user interface of the 1987 game “Street Fighter,” a staple of his youth. The video game is displayed in a hand-built ice-cream cart that calls to mind the Latino immigrant workforce of paleteros, who peddle popsicles in many U.S. cities. Zúñiga initially presented Vagamundo: A Migrant’s Tale as a mobile art project on New York streets to provoke unsuspecting audiences to reflect on immigrant experience and cultural assimilation.


 
 
Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy Everett Taasevigen

Image courtesy Everett Taasevigen

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.

Image courtesy of the artist.