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If You Want to Feel Down, Play The Brexit Game

By Julian Benson on at

Paper Brexit starts with a button I really don't want to press:

paper brexit button

The game is a piece of interactive fiction (IF) that puts you in the mind of a journalist on a right-wing paper, in a future where Britain has left the EU and Donald Trump has become president of the US. Most of the game takes place in a cafe, in conversation with an editor who is not happy with your most recent article.

I'm not going to talk much about the story or the article, as I wouldn't want to spoil them. It's free, too; so there's nothing stopping you from heading over to itch.io and trying Paper Brexit for yourself.

As for my non-spoilery thoughts on writer Greg Buchanan's IF: it's a depressing read. Pro-leave or pro-remain, there's little in there to lighten your mood as we race towards Thursday's referendum. The Britain painted in Paper Brexit is a scared place, an intolerant place, a lifeless place. You're not going to come away having learned anything that will help you make Thursday's decision, but it will give you insight into how pessimistic Buchanan is becoming about the whole thing.

Buchanan is, obviously, pro-remain (as am I), and that shows in the discontent of his writing. He writes in the game's description that he "originally created this piece as a comedic parody of what I saw as the positive 'let's be old Britain again with pubs and sunshine and lollipops without evil EU interference' attitude, but I couldn't sustain it with all the news that's been coming out over the last few weeks (I write this post now just a few days before we go to the vote). The world just seems to be going utterly crazy at the moment, so I think it's influenced my writing as a reaction. The whole thing is ugly."

Hmm. I started out this news post trying to recommend a game. Now I'm all depressed myself.