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No ESC is a virtual reality project about the stress we experience due to the hyper-connectivity of our devices. The game replicates the feelings we get when we feel repeatedly pressured to answer an email, pick up a call, or reply to a text message. The setting is nostalgic, full of pop culture that references a simpler time before mobile internet. These nostalgic references are also somewhat dark. The player sees a Pulp Fiction Poster on the wall and Final Destination playing on the TV, for example, as if anticipating an ominous future. As the player continues around the room, they hear pop songs on the radio, constantly switching stations and growing louder and more chaotic. After two minutes, weapons appear, falling from the sky and enable the player to destroy all of the technology. The game suddenly shifts to a calming, natural environment free of devices. Feeling peaceful, the screen finally goes black, yet the player is alarmed with one last text message…there really is no escape.

If you want to play or show a copy of the game on Oculus or The Vive, please contact me at:

This game was created by: Nicole Ruggiero (Artist & Art Director), Jeremy McKeheen (Artist), Prashast Thapan (Developer), Michelle Cortese (Artist & Developer), and Calvin Pia (Sound Designer).  This experience has been shown at IAM Festival in Barcelona, Wavelength Exhibition in Beijing, Virtual Normality at the Museum de Bildenden in Leipzig, Germany, and several events in NYC including with Alt ESC at Small Editions Gallery (Brooklyn), Felt Zine at Superchief Gallery (Brooklyn), and VR World (Manhattan).


You can view the full game play through below:



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