Uncanny Valley

By Federico Heller | Sci-Fi
Virtual reality junkies are addicted to a shooter game. But there's a glitch.

Filmmaker Federico Heller tells the story of a not-to-distant-future that blurs the line between reality and virtual reality.

It’s the slums of the future. A man talks about his first time trying tried virtual reality — he’ll never be bored again. Another junkie tells us he plays 17-hours a day, then boasts about this kill-to-death ratio. His life is simple: he wakes up, checks his rankings and then goes straight to the battlefield.

That’s common. Another junkie hasn’t left his house in years.

One player, who had troubles with the law, escapes to VR to express his anger in a way that isn’t dangerous — he can be himself and not go to jail for it.

In each room, the addicts hover in mid-air as they’re immersed in the virtual reality game.

A doctor enters. Her job is to give psychological aid in VR-dependent neighborhoods. She says the junkies aren’t interested in being a part of society — and looking at their conditions, they wouldn’t have a place either.

One junkie admits he doesn’t feel comfortable around people — he doesn’t know what he should say or do. Gameplay is just simpler for him — there’s no people. Just targets.

We take a look at the VR game. It’s a dystopian landscape.

Suddenly, a bunch of fluorescent creature jumps out and attacks the group. They pick off the monsters one by one. When the coast is clear, the group continues to move on. But one player stays behind — he notices a rift in the game and begins to fire at it.

A portal opens and he walks through.

He sees one of the creatures and walks over. Suddenly, another one jumps on his back and attacks him. He throws him to the ground and kills him. But the creature has messed up his machinery. His game begins to malfunction. The VR disappears and he’s suddenly in the desert.

He sees an old woman amid the chaos and debris of a war zone. He realizes he’s controlling the robot and other robots are shooting and killing innocent people. Drones hover to scan the environment, creating the events in the VR game and tying it to reality.

When he realizes he’s been a pawn, used in a real war, the player turns the gun to himself and kills the robot.

Back in the real world, he crawls to the corner. Then, a robot finds him and walks over to him. We realize he’s part of someone else’s VR game and the robot sees him as another target to be terminated.




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