Student Entrant 2019

University of Southern California
Team Embedded


Embedded is a period VR photography game about how the media shapes public perception. In Embedded, the player takes the role of an embedded photojournalist covering American involvement in the Vietnam War. As the player, you ride along with a team of soldiers as they carry out missions and drive from town to town, while you document what you see with your camera. Sometimes you witness refugees fleeing their homes and other times you witness soldiers performing heroic acts. When it's time to report back to your editor, you choose which photos to submit for publication. Your photos are judged based on their sentiment (whether the photos are pro or anti-war) and their quality (the technical merit of the photo according to the rule of thirds). Afterward, you are presented with a newspaper article that has your photos in it. The text of the article reflects the sentiment of your photos and the prestige of the newspaper you're published in reflects the quality of your photos. Embedded gives you the power to change how the narrative of the war is presented in the media. Embedded expresses what it is like to generate and publish news and makes players feel the tension between choosing photos that may be technically better and photos that express their feelings better. Players make choices that ultimately decide how the public will feel: whether they see the war as a necessary and patriotic action or a haphazard and cruel one.