And now you finally can, thanks to indie developer Lucas Pope and his game Papers, Please. The game puts you in the shoes of a nameless citizen of Arstotzka, a fictitious, dystopian Eastern European cold war country. The October labor lottery is complete, your name was pulled and you’re now a border inspector at the Grestin border checkpoint. It’s your job to make sure that only people who are allowed access to the glorious nation of Arstotzka actually cross the border.
Being a border inspector requires a lot of attention to detail, and the rulebook provided by the Ministry of Admission grows quite thick as the game progresses. Thankfully, Papers, Please does a good job of easing you into the rulebook. It starts out easy, with a simple passport and entry ticket check, but after a few days of in-game time your desk will be cluttered with documents on each arrival: Passport, identity supplement, entry permit, work permit, diplomatic papers, vaccination papers – you name it. And you have to pay attention to everything, miss a vaccination card discrepancy and the game might be over.