Designer: Lucas Pope (Japan, United States); Location: Global; Year: 2013

Building empathy is the goal of the game Papers, Please. Rather than playing as an elite international spy, gamers take on the persona of a low-level border agent for the fictional communist state of Arstotzka. Tasked with deciding who can enter the country or be turned away and/or arrested, players are dropped into a complex scenario of borders, power dynamics, administrative operations, and moral dilemmas. By shifting the perspective around these politicized issues, the game sheds light on immigration questions and builds empathy for those affected, a central aim in conflict resolution and peace education.

Image: The Papers, Please logo, 2013; © 3909 LLC. Used with permission