Saturday, March 12, 2016

"Papers, Please" Is An Excellent, Bizarre, Fun Video Game

The notion that a captivating game can be based on travel document inspection boggles my mind.

Last night I was playing Turbo Dismount with the 11-year-old, gelling with the kid over the pure joy of carefully watching stuff get wrecked.

He then showed me the other game he is excited about, a topic that I resisted believing for several moments as it is so preposterous -- passport inspection.

The game is called Papers, Please and is an indie game with the following set up:

The communist state of Arstotzka has just ended a 6-year war with neighboring Kolechia and reclaimed its rightful half of the border town, Grestin.

Your job as immigration inspector is to control the flow of people entering the Arstotzkan side of Grestin from Kolechia. Among the throngs of immigrants and visitors looking for work are hidden smugglers, spies, and terrorists.

Using only the documents provided by travelers and the Ministry of Admission's primitive inspect, search, and fingerprint systems you must decide who can enter Arstotzka and who will be turned away or arrested.

This is a puzzle-type game with many political overtones. The sheer creativity of this game underscores why people say video games will be the influential literature of future generations. I believe it.

I'm continually thrilled with the stuff the kids gravitate towards. I admit my mind is rooted in 1970s Minnesota concepts of education which, in many cases, is problematic.

Time for an update -- Stoke!

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