On Paper Please

The Migrants Emergency is the great human drama of current european age.

Here in Italy it’s a constant matter of controversy, but more generally we could say that is the phenomenon that fueled the growth of far-right politics across all Union, as well as one of the main Brexit triggers.

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(source)

The Nerd Factor:

By looking at the situation in Ventimiglia, on the French-Italian border, I instinctively thought of a 2013 indie game:

Paper Please.

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France–Italy border, Ventimiglia. (source)
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France–Italy border, Ventimiglia. (source)

While Lucas Pope’s game is set in a pseudo-Iron Curtain / Cold War context, the human aspects tied with Immigration remains the same.

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Divisions, humiliations, terrorism: almost all consequences derived from a fundamental concept:

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The border.

Paper Please put us in the role of an immigration inspector assigned to a border in a fictional Orwellian society which, in spite of its soviet-communist nature, seems to have many traits in common with contemporary Europe.

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For the narrative, I felt it was an important way to humanize the consequences of your performance. It also supports the core empathetic message: you’re performing a difficult job with difficult decisions and you often have to choose between caring for your family or doing what you feel is morally right.

Games are art and should benefit from the same treatment. With my generation especially, games are a ubiquitous form of media and they’re becoming easier and easier to create. I think it’s natural to have more personal or contentious topics covered in games.

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Papers Please isn’t intended as a political game that highlights any particular injustice. My goal was more to humanize people that are commonly seen as enemies and to show that all sides of a political issue can have justifications.

Lucas Pope

“Humanize people that are commonly seen as enemies”

That’s really the point UE goverments are missing, often treating people like numbers, or worse: a threat.

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Matteo Salvini, current Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior of Italy