Paper Brexit

“Paper Brexit” by Greg Buchanan, G.C. Baccaris, Seb Peters & Anthony Gambino.

“The police watch you. The journalists whisper. Your wife and children, [they are] missing. You just need all this to go away… In this game, you will make choices. […] You are English. It is 2020. And you have left…”

The first version of “Paper Brexit” was made in the year 2016, just few days before the actual referendum with its devestating results happened. Now in 2020, the path for the Brexit is clear, and the ‘remake’ of this game shows us the first steps on this dark road.

For one half of Great Britain’s citizen, the Brexit seems to be the promise for a beautiful future without any regulations made in Brussels. The other half experiences it as a blend of trauma and a feverish dream. In their eyes, the consequences will be a nightmare of isolation and the mouldering of any decency. As you might have guessed, “Paper Brexit” backs up the second opinion – but the most fascinating thing is how it does that.

With just a handful of characters, some images and great atmospheric storytelling, the anxiety resulting from an unpredictable future gets told in a very intense way. It all starts in a café, where a man is waiting for a person called The Fixer. Both of them have business to discuss, because something happened. Do not worry, I will not spoil you what it is about, but let me tell you one thing: It is not that obviously related to the Brexit as much as to the rift it already opened. In the end, a dream dies: The dream of a union; not only the European Union, but the whole essence of such bonds. While national borders get reinforced, the borders between humanity and callousness start to crumble.

Just like the excellent “American Election”, this game is depressing to a point. However, it is necessary that we find ourselves confronted with video games like that. Such serious games can tell a specific point of view in a very approachable manner. Experiencing “Paper Brexit” for the first time might feel like a dagger thrust right into your heart – and you should be glad if it does. [PLAY]