Playing God - VR Experience

Playing God

Playing God is an interactive VR thought experiment that lets you imagine you are the captain of a space station, a space station suddenly presented with a humanitarian crisis. It challenges its audience with a series of scenarios and questions based it’s upon its narrative to explore how the audience would deal with a humanitarian crisis themselves.

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Cannes XR – May 2019 (Preview) – Cannes, France
Phoenix Cinema – June 2019 (Preview) – Leicester UK
Raindance Film Festival – 26-28 Sept (World Premiere) – London, UK
Leicester XR – 19 Oct 2019- Phoenix, Leicester UK
Frequency Festival – 24 -27 Oct 2019- Lincoln, UK
RAMFest – 3 Nov – 2019 QUAD, Derby, UK
Aesthetica Film Festival – 6-10 Nov 2019- York, UK
Hyper Festival – 23 Nov 2019 – São Paulo, Brazil
Storytelling in the Fourth Industrial Revoloution – 7-28 Nov 2019 Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge, UK
VR Days – 21 Feb 2020 – QUAD, Derby, UK


Imagine you are the captain of a space station. A space station suddenly presented with a humanitarian crisis. When given the choice, who will you save?

Presenting audiences with a spin on lifeboat ethics, Playing God encourages its audience to interrogate and reflect on their own stance on helping others and sharing resources in a time of need. It presents lifeboat ethics in a new style thought experiment based on the renowned 1970’s ecologist Garett Harding 1974 essay ‘Lifeboat Ethics: the Case Against Helping the Poor’. It plays on Harding’s essay setting it on a futuristic location popular metaphor used by Environmentalists in the 60’s and 70’s of the earth as a “spaceship,” most famously used in Adlai Stevenson 1965 speech to the UN. It explores how national borders are playing a key role in today’s political and cultural discourse, and uses this unique immersive approach to the refugee crisis that places audiences at the very philosophical core of the debate.

Funded by

Funded by Arts Council England - Playing GodFrequency 2019 Funded - Playing GodD-Lab Funded - Playing God

Phoenix Funded - Playing God

With support from

Supported by Interact - Playing God

Supported by QUAD- Playing GodSupported by DMU - Playing GodSupported by AA2A - Playing God





A work by Ben Fredericks

Executive Producer
Alex Rühl @ Cats Are Not Peas


Commander – Claire Lebowitz
Lieutenant – Mark Peachey
Ensign – Matthew Morrison
Shuttlebay Officer – Dev Joshi
Doctor Sojourner – Dawson
Woman on Colony 3 – Debbie Bird
Newcomer – Melvyn Rawlinson

Lead Programmer – Dominic Mathuse
Lead Artist – Matt Bultitude
Costume & Set Designer – Kate Unwin
Hair & Makeup – Victoria Price
Music – James Andean
Sound Mixer – Les Hayden
Camera & Lighting – Alec Jordan
Camera – Joel Caborn
Lifepod VFX – Richard Van De Steenoven
Poster Artwork – Phil Ballaam
Assistant Director, Script support and Casting – Edward Spence

Those involved in the original prototype
VR Design – Anthony Clark
Concept design – Wayne Mitchelson
Leonie Carpenter, Kieron Attwood, Katrina Sansone, Ed Spence, & Safia Lamrani

With thanks to

Chris Tyrer, Paul Long, Dr Sarah Fine, Keith Allott, Andrew Crawshaw, David Gilbert, Peter Bonnell, Tim Brooke, John Cairns, Nick Higgett, Sean Clark, Dale Robertson, Catherine Allen, Jo Verrent and Unlimited.