Papers, Please is a puzzle simulation video game created by indie game developer Lucas Pope, developed and published through his production company, 3909 LLC. The game was released on August 8, 2013, for Microsoft Windows and OS X, for Linux on February 12, 2014, and for iOS on December 12, 2014. A port for the PlayStation Vita was announced in August 2014 and was then released on December 12, 2017.1
In Papers, Please, the player takes on the role of a border-crossing immigration officer in the fictional dystopian Eastern Bloc-like country of Arstotzka, which has been and continues to be at political hostilities with its neighboring countries. The game takes place at a migration checkpoint. As the immigration officer, the player must review each immigrant and return citizen’s passports and other supporting paperwork against an ever-growing list of rules using a number of tools and guides, allowing in only those with the proper paperwork while rejecting those without all proper forms, and at times detaining those with falsified information, while also balancing personal finances.
Papers, Please was positively received on its release, and it has come to be seen as an example of an empathy game and a demonstration of video games as an art form. The game was recognized with various awards and nominations from the Independent Games Festival, Game Developers Choice Awards, and BAFTA Video Games Awards, and was named by Wired and The New Yorker as one of the top games of 2013. Pope reported that by 2016, more than 1.8 million copies of the title had been sold.