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    ryancornellier's Papers, Please (PC)

    [August 29, 2018 01:48:18 PM]
    My final gamelog for Paper's, Please. What a journey.

    So, At this point I'm roughly 2/3rds through the entire game. My son is dead. I adopted a niece, but she died. My mother-in-law is gravely ill and I have to chose between keeping her warm or buying her medicine. There was one more family member, but I think they're dead too. I average around 5-7 citations a day. I'm still living in a class-8 apartment. I have no savings. All I want is for my character to die in a terrorist attack so I can stop playing this game.

    Ethically, this game is a mind-fxxx. Papers, Please forces you to make so many tricky decisions its almost unbearable. As the game travels up its difficulty curve, making enough money to pay rent becomes a real challenge, not to mention remaining true to your ethical compass almost becomes impossible. Of course, a lot of the stress is self imposed: had I not prioritized taking care of my in-game family, I could have focused more on processing immigrants faster. If I play this game again, I'd like to focus more on accumulating wealth, rather than trying to serve the other characters in the game. I'd imagine it'd be difficult to do, but I think playing with those goals in mind would hopefully allow me to enjoy the game.

    Finally, although this game is stressful, I'm 101% sure the developers of the game intended it to be that way. The heart of the game is decision making and weighing consequences, and this level of stress and speed makes every decision that much more painful and heart wrenching. Although I kind of hated every minute of it, this is a very tightly designed game. I'd definitely play through it again (without trying to save anymore).
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    [August 27, 2018 09:13:55 PM]
    I had to restart from the beginning because I accidentally deleted my save! This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as I was able to start off with a much stronger foundation in terms of processing speed. What I was mostly thinking about while I was playing Papers, Please is how it's the first game Iíve ever played thatís from the 2nd person perspective. I think this unique factor definitely serves to immerse the player even deeper into the experience, and really put themselves in the shoes of the checkpoint inspector. I think the 2nd person perspective was a strong choice design-wise, as having to face to people attempting to pass through the checkpoint head-on can make ignoring their pleas more difficult, adding more pressure onto the playerís decisions. The game also really makes you think about your values, what youíre willing and unwilling to compromise, and the priorities that motivate you. Even during my second play through where I started out very well, I eventually hit a day where I had to pay 55 credits due to penalties. This drained me of my savings, and rendered me unable to pay for heat or food for family. This put a lot of pressure on me the next day to not only to work quickly, but also accurately to ensure I make the maximum amount of profit to replenish my savings account. All in all, at this point in the game, the decision making is starting to get overwhelming, and I may have to start organizing my priorities if I want to achieve my goals in the game.
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    [August 26, 2018 12:18:35 AM]
    Playing Papers, Please is kind of like going back in time to Berlin Wall-Era Germany. The game takes place in the fictional country of Arstotska, where strict border control determines the lives of many hopeful immigrants and passerby. Some immigrants are fleeing persecution from their native country, some wish to sojourn until they get back on their feet, and some are trying to enter for a myriad of other reasons. You, the player, decide each personís fate as the inspector each day, as new immigration laws are implemented almost daily based on in-game events. The player must keep up with these new laws, while also balancing their own morality and earning enough to provide their son, wife, and extended family.

    I played this game for about 2 hours. At first I found the gameplay tedious and a little difficult, as not much explanation is given. After a bit, I acclimated to the gameís language and started to catch on more quickly. One thing I found particularly difficult was balancing my own morality against the needs of my family- being able to help out the immigrants in a pinch was appealing to me, yet it gave me almost no margin for error. I found that if I chose to abide by their pleas, I would find myself drowning in citations and left with very little money to take care of my family. If that wasnít hard enough, the sheer volume of ethical dilemmas I encountered in my first two hours of gameplay was almost overwhelming. I had to turn down a woman who lacked the proper credentials to immigrate, and forced her to return home- a veritable death sentence. This instance gave me more motivation to work with the other immigrants, so I was able to prevent a womanís stalker from entering the country. But as the requirements for immigration become more and more complex, my best and fastest work barely allows me to break even. Although this is just a game, its very disheartening when I have to make a decision that compromises my moral integrity.

    Finally, Iíd like to applaud the developers of the game for immersing the player so deeply in the position of border inspectors. Although I do find the gameplay tedious and stressful, I found also find that those features put the player in a position to empathize with the main character and others in his role. Having a job that constantly forces you to weigh survival and ethics many times throughout the day is incomprehensibly draining, an the fact that you make so little adds even more pressure onto every decision. This game clearly has a point of view and a message, and I want to further clarify what those are by the end of my third game log.
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    Status

    ryancornellier's Papers, Please (PC)

    Current Status: Playing

    GameLog started on: Saturday 25 August, 2018

    Opinion
    ryancornellier's opinion and rating for this game

    Gameplay is a tad repetitive, but overall a very interesting and unique concept!

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstar

    Related Links

    See ryancornellier's page

    See info on Papers, Please

    More GameLogs
    other GameLogs for this Game
    1 : Papers, Please (PC) by BrittanyG (rating: 5)
    2 : Papers, Please (PC) by dkirschner (rating: 5)

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