Tunisia: Knatry videogame emulating smugglers becomes hit

Over 1,000 downloads of new controversial game

(ANSAmed) - TUNIS, AUGUST 11 - A new videogame for android devices called Knatry (smuggler) has become controversial in Tunisia. Produced by local developers, it was launched on July 19. It has already been downloaded 1,000 times but it has been criticized as not educational. The game's theme is smuggling and players, who become the smugglers, need to load their merchandise as quickly as possible, trying not to lose anything of their precious cargo and to avoid controls by police and customs officials. The game is a constant chase between smugglers and police officers with popular music on the background. The location includes southern regions like Jilma, Gafsa and Feriana where smuggling is effectively common.
    Smuggling is very harmful for the legal economy in Tunisia, which is currently in a deep crisis. The phenomenon has been debated by experts for years and economists have been striving to restore to legality this informal market believed to be worth at least 30% of the undeclared economy. According to a study carried out by the statistics company Sigma Conseil in 2016, fuel smuggling in Tunisia employs some 20,000 people with some 150 ''barons'' controlling the market with annual losses in taxes worth an estimated 400 million Tunisian dinars. Many are therefore enraged in seeing a Tunisian videogame that hails such a practice, giving youths the possibility of acting like smugglers and challenging security forces. However, many claim it is only a game, which can be improved from a technical standpoint, and that it represents nothing new as ''violent and offensive'' games are already available on the market.


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