Following the recent police-related tragic events in the US, many people are asking us whether our game is trying to comment on these kinds of incidents. Is it possible to regard This Is the Police as a political statement? Do we want to expose the police as monsters, or, conversely, to exonerate them? Some are even angry that a development team from Belarus would allegedly try to criticize America. To prevent any misunderstanding, I decided to explain our position.
Of course, we, as human beings, are deeply affected by world events, whether they happened yesterday or long ago. And of course, we all have our own views on them. But as far as our game is concerned, there are three important caveats.
Firstly, This Is the Police is not based on any actual incidents, nor does it try to portray them either directly or indirectly. We are certainly talking about problems that exist in the real world, but all the characters and their actions in the game are fictional from start to finish.
Secondly, This Is the Police is not about the United States or any other individual country. We deliberately did not specify when and where the events in the game unfold — not because we were being cryptic, but because it doesn’t matter. In our understanding, the world is a seamless space. The word “geopolitics” fills us with sincere disgust, and any boundary walls and barriers, both physical and socio-cultural, drive us to depression. We believe that the problems of every individual are the problems of all mankind.
Thirdly, we do not believe that the problems discussed in the game are political in nature. A couple of times when I’ve been at protests, I’ve seen people peacefully expressing their dissatisfaction, and receiving a club in the face. Of course, the reasons why people took to the streets, and the reasons they were broken up, are directly related to policy. But that terrible moment when a person suddenly decides that he has the right to hit another person, that devastating moment when the thought enters his mind — that has no relation to governments, parties, or laws. It doesn’t matter what country or continent you’re on, your gender, sexual orientation, skin color, or religion. Because it’s not a matter of politics. It is a question of humanity. Everything else is just the scenery, no more than a fleeting context.
So This Is the Police is not a political game, but a human one. It revolves around personal desires, fear and pride, love and hatred. We are storytellers, not propagandists. We have no ready-made answers, but together we can find them. And video games — like all the other good things in this world — are here to make sure we don’t get lost.
This Is the Police