How a Forgotten VR Satire Game Got Caught Up in Far Right Propaganda

Nicholas McDonnell was enjoying the long weekend provided by an Australian holiday when his partner shook him awake to say goodbye, prompting McDonnell to tiredly do what most of us do in the morning: check our phone. Besides the usual crawl of emails, McDonnell saw a "wall of notifications" from people telling him some artwork for his studio's overlooked 2018 virtual reality game, The American Dream, had been co-opted by Gab, a once-obscure social network about "freedom" that's become one of many safe havens for the far right.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

The trailer for the game is very good, it’s actually the first VR game (other than Beatsaber) that I’ve seen that seems interesting to me, even if it’s a gimmicky satire game.

While showing the game at a PAX event once, McDonnell said an older woman, someone maybe in their 60s, came by and saw the shirt with the same artwork that’s in Gab’s tweet. With “no spark of sarcasm” in her voice, the woman told McDonnell “oh, that’s so lovely.”

This rules so hard hahahaha.


Disapproving Drake: “Can you pet the dog?”
Approving Drake: “Does the dog have a gun?”

I remember the trailer for this when it came out, but I wasn’t a VR guy then and I’m still not one now. Good for them that they’re getting attention now, I guess? But mostly I think this shows how much the world is ruled by Poe’s Law nowadays.

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There’s also the other trailer, the live-action one done with the LoadingReadyRun crew, that’s definitely worth a watch.

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