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Papers, Please

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Ever wondered what it's like to be a bureaucrat behind the Iron Curtain in 1982?  Well, now you can find out!  You get to man a border station and decide who gets let into the fictional country of Arstotzka.

The game is both mindnumbingly difficult and mindnumbingly tedious, but that's the whole point.  This is not a game that is out to wow you with gameplay, this is a game that is going to make you feel what it's like to be a border guard in a Communist wonderland.  You're part of a system that you have little control in, and beholden to superiors you almost never see, but who push increasingly arbitrary restrictions upon your work.  And of course, because it's you who interacts with everybody who is coming through your station, you have to make the hard decisions.  It's up to you to reject those seeking political asylum, who will be killed if they go back.  It's up to you to decide if you want to take a little bit of graft so that you can feed your family tonight.

This game is absolutely fascinating.  It's game as art, out to show you that games can be affecting, and can make you think hard about your political reality.  It's hard to say enough positive about this game.  Easily one of the most thought-provoking video games I've ever played.

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