Papers, Please as Critical Making: A Review

  • Eddie Lohmeyer North Carolina State University


This article examines Lucas Pope’s independent game Papers, Please as an instantiation of critical making within the discipline of the digital humanities. By confronting the player with moral decisions in their capacity as an immigration officer allowing or denying entry to immigrants within a totalitarian state, the game introduces an expressive form of game design in which conceptual practices are used to examine political and social realities. This type of critical media practice introduces a political ethic to the digital humanities that is arguably scarce within the discipline.


Bianco, J. (2012). This Digital Humanities Which Is Not One. In M. K. Gold (Eds.), Debates in the Digital Humanities (96-112). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Pope L. (2013, August 8). Papers, Please. Retrieved December 1, 2015, from

Ratto, M. (2011). Critical Making. In B. Abel, L. Evers, R. Klassen, P. Troxler (Eds.), Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive. Amsterdam: BIS publishers.
June 12, 2017
Critical Insights


Papers, Please; digital humanities; critical making