Papers, Please First Experience

*Take note this is not a review, just merely sharing my experience with the game*

In Papers, Please you play as an immigration inspector at a boarder check point for Arstotzka. You check peoples’ visas, and other credentials, and check whether to let them in or not; There are rules given to you by the government so be careful. You should be very careful when inspecting because if you do make a mistake you will incur a penalty which will affect your salary, which isn’t a lot but the salary you get from this job feeds your family and is necessary for their survival.

So that’s basically how the game mechanics play out. I surprisingly had a blast of a time playing this game. It has been on my radar for the past few months but I just never really felt the dying urge to play it, until today. Thank the good lord I did, also the encouraging remarks from various Game sites helped. Time just flew by while I was playing and I didn’t even realize that 4 hours had eluded me. I was just supposed to play it for 30 minutes since I was taking a break from my Thesis paper, which was obviously a bad idea. To be honest I sucked for the first 30 minutes but still had a lot fun, checking whether a person is eligible to enter Arstotzka just grabbed me for some reason that escapes me. The necessary paying attention to small details just fed my inner O.C. disorder but I still sucked. Then I felt unsatisfied so I started again from the beginning and took things real serious, I was determined to be the best Immigration Inspector ever dammit! Soon after getting my groove, more and more people who were trying to get into the country started to actually make sympathy talk. Even though these characters were just pixelated binary digits on my computer screen, I felt for them. In one incident I had to actually contemplate whether to let this lady through right after I let her husband pass. Her husband was so grateful and excited to see her wife go through but I had a family to take care of and I didn’t want to get any more penalties; I just got two from denying a couple of foreigners even though they were clear to pass. This game, in my own personal opinion, perfectly captured a torn situation which tugged on my emotional whim and actually made me sympathize for the lady. Long story short, I denied and it sucked. My family was just more important, which enlightened me on how some government workers must feel when in similar situations. When it comes to the world or your family, family wins no matter what. That realization came from an indie game which just simulates a guy stamping passports. Mind blown.

I will continue to play and try to get all the endings. I’ll probably get more realizations and views on immigrant lives, sad crying may ensue unless there aren’t that many more family stories in the game. I have noticed some government espionage/terrorist encounters so we’ll see where that goes. So far the game is awesome and feels like such a fresh experience, it is a fresh experience. Right now all I want is more Papers, Please……….please.

David Rix

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