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I Am Game: The Mechanics of Undesirability in the Video-game Papers, Please
Wednesday, March 27, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Professor Haerin Shin

Debuting to critical acclaim in 2013, the applied-puzzle video game Papers, Please stations its player as an immigration inspector at the border checkpoint of a fictional country. The anachronistic font and layout embrace a 1980s-style aesthetic, resonating with the setting's uncanny invocation of the Soviet Bloc under the Cold War regime. Professor Shin will discuss how the social realism of Papers, Please portrays our current state of affairs wherein person-hood and empathy are rendered "undesired cosmetic disturbances" that undermine the "illusion of representative modeling"; representative as in high-fidelity adherence to the standards of desirability as conditions for survival within and beyond the game space.

Contact: Jamal Quick