March 8 was International Women's Day. I went to the San Francisco Gender Strike, a feminist march against US Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE"). Speakers went up, one by one, each with their own personal way of encouraging our community to take a stand against mass deportation, xenophobia, and policies that threaten and affect members of our community.
One speaker came up and, in the middle of their speech, directly challenged law enforcement, ICE agents, congresspeople, etc. to stop following orders. It was a clear directive: stop enforcing policies that are hurting real people.
It seemed such a simple thing when it was stated like that.
It's easy to imagine what I would do if I were one of the people being addressed by that plea: I imagine myself standing up to some boss, quietly stating, "No, absolutely not. This policy is wrong." I imagine the accompanying swell of music & the shift into a more technicolor world. I imagine the resulting biopic where I am played by some Hollywood up-and-comer hoping for an Oscar nomination.
Like I said: so simple.
But I've played Papers, Please, a 2013 "dystopian document thriller" game put out by Lucas Pope, and I'm afraid that I know something a little darker about myself: how easy it is for me (and you, and all of us) to follow rules. And how that choice isn't extraordinary or even intentionally malicious, it's the most mundane thing in the world.