From refugees to Aids, live action role-play games are exploring critical issues. But is the idea of social change via larp a fantasy?

The detention centre sits on the border. Once a low-security prison, it is in a depressing state of disrepair. The private company running the government facility plans improvements, but the flood of desperate “residents” has pushed these firmly on to the back burner.

Residents are not prisoners, but a perceived scarcity of social resources means public opinion towards them is volatile; in response, the government has set an extremely small immigration quota. Residents undergo rigorous assessment in order to have their immigration applications even considered.

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