Teacher Review for Papers, Please

Interesting game, but would be difficult in the classroom in my opinion.

Amy K.
Classroom teacher
Cornell Senior High School
Coraopolis, United States
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My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies
My Rating
Learning Scores
I Would Recommend It Yes
Setup Time Less than 5 minutes
Great for Student-driven work
How I Use It
This product has been engaging for me, but I feel like my students would find it tedious. Each day that your player goes to work, more situations present themselves. This is a time consuming game to get the full benefits of understanding entering a country (immigration units), or the perils of a totalitarian communist regime. I could see using this in a flipped classroom, perhaps in a unit paired with a book with similar themes (Animal Farm).
My Take
Papers, Please is a video game where a player takes on the role of an immigration officer in a nation called Arstotska. As a worker checking entry visas, you the player have to scrutinize the visas against a manual and look for discrepancies in information. Then you deny or accept entry. If you are wrong, you get penalized and lose credits that pay for your basic living expenses. It's important to be correct and not get penalized, but if you don't go quickly enough, you won't make enough money to take care of your family. The political turmoil is part of the game, but the day-to-day implications of living in an oppressive regime weigh on you as a player. This game is comprehensive, but long. There is little support in game, and it's tricky to figure out, which is great for students in theory, but might make some think that it's "boring." Honestly, I think that it is too time intensive to be effective in the classroom and the cost is high ($9.99/user) for individual licenses in a classroom.