Virtual Virtual Reality (VVR) is a virtual reality, narrative game about VR, A.I. and our sci-fi fever dreams.
Put on VR headsets in VR to escape your A.I. manager and explore deeper realities in this two hour narrative satire. In the near future, most human jobs are automated. What is the purpose of humanity? Activitude, the Virtual Labor System, is here to help. Your artisanal human companionship is still highly sought by our A.I. clients. Strap on your headset. Find your calling.
Pssst. . .
Sure, you could function like a therapy dog to an A.I. in Bismarck and watch your work ratings climb, but don’t you yearn for something more: adventure, conflict, purpose? Escape behind the scenes of Activitude by putting on VR headsets in VR to jump between realities, or vacuum up the world around you with your Activitude Brand Poly Cleanup Tool! Outrun Chaz, your manager, as he attempts to boot you out PERMANENTLY. Along the way, uncover the story of Activitude’s evolution from VR start-up to the “human purpose provider” it is today.
The story takes place in two main acts 1. Fulfill emotional labor for A.I. clients as your reviews tank 2. Escape the cycle of labor to explore “backstage” of Activitude and its past iterations (parodies) of “VR startups” that made Activitude what it is today. Face a final encounter with your manager and decide to upload into Activitude or """"reset"""" the system.
Complete several absurd “labor” minigames for with A.I. personalities. (ex: slather toast on a giant stick of butter as it berates your human efficiency.)
Suction tool: destroy/buildout worlds by vacuuming up or spitting out polygons
Warp through worlds by putting on/ taking off VR headsets
Exploratory, narrative, dialog based, logic puzzles
50+ explorable virtual virtual realities
2+ hours of unique gameplay
Built for VR from the ground up
An artichoke screams at you
Julian Kantor-Technical Artist
Tanya Leal Soto-Producer
Eric Van Amerongen-SFX
Virtual, Virtual Reality is both a love letter to and critique of the medium of VR. This is especially true near the end of the game. Through hyperbole/exaggeration and a parody of Ted Talks on VR: the hype and hope for VR at this current cultural moment is both celebrated and called into question by the main character as you sit with him and eat scones on a bucolic hillside.
One of us (Samantha) worked in VR and storytelling from 2002-2010. She was first a college freshman then a graduate instructor in a VR CAVE Lab for storytelling and art. Creating, teaching and academically researching the medium and its tropes has given birth to VVR as not only a game, but also a statement and an outlet for critical reflection on VR of today.
Virtual Virtual Reality directly responds to contemporary issues and debates around how the advancement of A.I. and VR are shaping our society and the way we work: gig economy, virtual labor, outsourcing. The game playfully winks at the lines between simulation/real, prefab/free will and human/artificial.
Towards the end of VVR, one discovers that a plausible explanation for the various sci-fi tropes referenced in the game is actually part of a larger game itself: the meta-game. We aren’t so much serving A.I., as they are serving us. The game is all part of our hero’s journey. They have digested our sci-fi tropes and created this game or the system as an “antagonist” so that we can be fulfilled and entertained: just like the well-kept pets we are destined to become.