papers pleaseI’ve recently begun playing a computer game called “Papers, Please.” The premise of the game is that you live in a communist dictatorship (thanks a lot, Jane Fonda), and have been chosen by lottery to become a border station guard for a month or until you get shot, whichever comes first. The game involves checking people’s passports and other documents against the evidence (making sure, for example, that the photo agrees with the person’s actual appearance, plus ensuring that the entrants comply with the often byzantine rules of the system. It’s more fun than it sounds; the game is simple but well-crafted, with entertaining touches of humor throughout. In particular, there’s a “story mode” involving some subplots and choices to make about allowing certain people to enter without sufficient papers or rejecting certain people who meet the entry criteria. Although I’m not convinced that it has a lot of longevity, the game is simple but engrossing, filled with humor and small creative embellishment, and a fun way to spend a couple of hours realizing everyone’s childhood dream of being a minor government official in a Soviet-era communist country. “Papers, Please” is available on Steam and cheap, and I recommend trying it.