So, you’re probably wondering why I’m even talking about a video game. After all, working as a notary is serious business and you wouldn’t be wrong in saying that it is a profession where errors are seriously frowned upon. Our experience in the profession varies, but the one thing that’s constant among all notaries is that there are professional standards that need to be met.
Some tasks are straightforward and simple, while others are more complex. Yet, no matter how simple the task may be, the smallest error can put others at risk. The game I’m referring to, called Papers, Please, offers is a similar — albeit virtual — experience.
First Off, What Exactly Is Papers, Please?
A recently released point and click game game, Papers, Please places the player in the shoes of a border inspector of a country called Arstotska. The player’s task is to screen each person who wants to enter the country and to try to adhere to standards set by the government. There are many other aspects of the game, but this is the aspect that I want to put a heavy emphasis on. In the game, making an error gets you a citation, and in the later stages an error means letting dangerous people through the border, which puts lives at risk. You essentially handle sensitive data, check it for accuracy and truthfulness, and decide whether you’d allow the person into the country or not.
It’s quite similar to how we check statements and decide if the facts hold up. In fact, most, if not all court proceedings rely heavily on notarized documents, especially during personal injury cases, according to the lawyers at tariolaw.com.
Why Should We Care About This Game?
Well, that’s where the error is. You assume that this is about the game. It’s not. What really struck me was how the tasks got more and more complicated as the game progressed. You have to assess various pieces of information and decide whether to stamp a traveller’s passport, allowing them access through the border.
This puts an air of risk in the game, even when all the player does is to look through papers and counter-check facts presented by a traveller. And the way that the travelers interact with the player in an attempt to appeal to the player’s kinder nature forces you to make hard decisions.
How Is It Related To The Profession?
It reminded me a lot of how we, as public notaries, are the front line of defense against any attempts to commit fraud. In the same way that the inspector in Papers, Please is the first line of defense against people who would do the country harm, we are the first line of defense against people who want to put falsehoods onto paper or when they try to twist the truth in their favor.
And it’s rather funny that I was unexpectedly reminded of this duty by a video game that I happened to stumble across whilst browsing my YouTube feed in my free time!
I mean, whether you’ve had 30 years of experience in the profession or you’re a rookie who’s learning the ropes, it can be draining to do the same thing over and over if you forget your purpose. I’ll say it again, ours is a profession that can’t have any mistakes, whether they’re big mistakes or common mistakes — we are all about accuracy and precision. And sometimes it can be quite draining, but always remember that the seal that we stamp has power and authority. People are depending on us to verify facts and to educate them on what they’re getting into by signing a document.