Saturday 4 January 2014

Papers, Please

I've been doing a lot of overseas travel recently (and am off to Switzerland in a couple of weeks), so the discovery of the bizarre game "Papers, Please" is quite interesting. The premise of the game is that you are an immigration inspector for the fictional communist country of Arstotzka. You job consists of inspecting passports and visas, and deciding whether to let people in the country or not. And this is what you spend the game doing. Looking at documents and then stamping them. I'm pretty sure there is supposed to be more to the game than this, but I have yet to discover it.
Despite what seems to be the mind numbingly boring gameplay, it is curiously addictive. At my first attempt I took to long to decide who to let in and as a result received very little pay. This led to having no money to feed my family, so they got sick and all died. This resulted in me losing the game, as Arstotzka expects healthy and happy citizens.
So during my next trip, rather than complain about the slow lines at immigration, I will at least some appreciation for the work the inspectors are doing, given the repetitive nature of the task. If you are interested in immersing yourself in the work of an immigration officer, you can find the game at where they have a range of terrific computer games, often using a 'pay what you wish' pricing model.

1 comment:

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