Playing God

Playing God is an interactive fact-based VR sci-fi experience that lets you imagine you are the captain of a space station, a space station suddenly presented with a humanitarian crisis. The piece extrapolates real word statistics based on the refugee crisis in Syria and the Mediterranean and presents them in a hypothesised thought experiment. An experiment that separates out the emotional and emotive documentation of the refugee’s plight and focuses on a future fictitious space to test the responses on how the audience would deal with a humanitarian crisis. When given the choice, who will they choose to save?

Presenting audiences with a classic lifeboat ethics dilemma, 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.

Based in this futuristic spaceship location, the piece uses current extrapolated real word statistics based on the refugee crisis in Syria and the Mediterranean and present them in a hypothesised narrative. 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.

Recently Featured in Unseen Magazine buy a copy here

Supported by




Team Members

Ben Fredericks – Lead Artist
Kate Unwin – Costume & Set
Matt Bultitude – 3D Design
Dominic Mathuse – Programming
James Andean – Sound Design

Produced by Alex Ruhl @ Cats are Not Peas

Prototype Version Produced with:

Anthony Clark – VR Design
Wayne Mitchelson – Concept design
Actors: Kieron Attwood, Katrina Sansone, Leonie Carpenter, Ed Spence, Safia Lamrani
David Gilbert – Producer