Paeprs, pls.

This is Papers, Please. I have sunk a decent amount of time into this game.

This game is really amazingly good. I attribute this in part to the very satisfying sound effects associated with the actions you perform. Your every action has this sort of heavy finality to it. You stamp of judgement comes down hard with the weight of your authority. You communicate with travelers by growling instructions into a loudspeaker. Even when you are flipping through you handbook or passing someone a fingerprint sheet, the turn of each page sounds very deliberate and methodical. As though your intent were to proceed at as frustrating a pace as possible – making sure the applicants are aware, that you are aware that you are doing it.

The there’s the “Detain” buzzer, which is somewhat less aurally commanding. Just a very calm, quick buzz that says “Guards, please escort this sketchy motherfucker to one of the back rooms to discuss the discrepancies in his paperwork.”

I read a couple of articles1 that talked about how impressed they were by the moral dimension of the game – whether you will choose to show compassion to people who don’t have their papers in order, accept bribes, help assassins, etc.

I have no such moral quandaries. I play this game for cathartic reasons. This game is very like my job. Users want something, don’t have their requirements in order to get it, act surprised to hear what the requirements are, ask when that was implemented. I don’t get to detain shit at work, so this is my little treat at the end of the day.

I am the perfect government drone because I hate everyone that approaches my checkpoint. I find their pleas for mercy and understanding intensely irritating. Also grounds for suspicion.

Oh, you need to get into country to reunite with your husband? Because honestly that sounds a lot like something someone planning to blow up a building would say.

Oh, you need access to an operation that is only performed in this country? Because that sounds like an excellent cover for someone looking to assassinate whoever our glorious leader is.

I assume everyone is lying, so I am never swayed from procedure2.

My family is so cold.

2Except Jorji, who I know is clearly lying. Two body searches in, and I start thinking “Gettin real tired of looking at your balls, Jorji.” It’s less aggravation to assume that he needs whatever bulk pills packs he currently has taped to his thighs for a legitimate medical reason.
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