We simulate a rescue with a VR experience that enables users to get a visceral sample of how a rescue occurs.
This VR program has three levels in which you journey into the events that lead to a rescue. The player starts in the mountains looking at a village burning below. They learn through narration where they are, and vaguely, what they are looking at.
An audio cue turns the player around to discover items on a table that when handled tell more of the story through short audio clips. These items are 3D models the player can interact with through game controllers.
Soon the player is to come to the realization there is more to be learned and upon stepping into a grove of poppies they teleport to the second level – Tal Qasab is a village located in the Sinjar District of the Ninawa Governorate in Iraq.
Here they are introduced to the main character, a young woman who has escaped from ISIS, in her hometown and her ransacked home. It is a very intimate experience in which the player starts piecing together the story. Personal items, torn photographs, rubble and dust covering the cradle her brother was taken from.
You can hear the team behind the scenes planning operations and making decisions. You are a fly on the wall of the real debates and considerations made by the production and rescue teams.
Outside her home is the beginning of your rescue mission, where the player is tasked with collecting inventory to continue this rescue mission. To continue, the player must pledge money to the cause. Because that is the reality. When in Iraq, to continue the rescue, there is the need for funds. For example, to operate the car needs $80 in gas. So the player can pledge the money, or not. If they want to continue the mission they pledge. If they don’t pledge, they can return to their privileged life and forget about the reality that is currently occurring in the world. This is manipulative, but also the truth of the world and how rescues occur.
In the last level the player takes the VHS and brings it to Al Howl camp, the hell-hole where a family member may be located. The purpose of the VHS is to convince the kidnapped family member they are loved and missed. It is to be played on a virtual TV and the mission is complete.
It is a simple game, with a blunt delivery of a true story.