The Art of Papers, Please

Juul's The Art of Failure Meets Lucas Pope's Papers, Please

There’s a certain dehumanizing impulse that comes with mastering game systems. It is articulated through the dissonance between Nathan Drake as-he-appears-in-cutscenes and the Nathan Drake whose actions correspond to a controller’s thumbsticks. It is the reason why genetic algorithms have been used to plan the “perfect” build order in Starcraft 2. Processes are fertile ground for privileging economy of action and thought. This is so ingrained in contemporary game design that player progress is often measured by the increasing complexity of game mechanics: by adding new abilities, introducing more difficult foes, more challenging environments, etc. Continue Reading