The American Dream: A VR game where you have guns for hands

Imagine a 1950s world where Mr. and Mrs. Middle America are going about daily life with guns for hands. Forget gun control -- this is the American Dream!

Claire Reilly Former Principal Video Producer
Claire Reilly was a video host, journalist and producer covering all things space, futurism, science and culture. Whether she's covering breaking news, explaining complex science topics or exploring the weirder sides of tech culture, Claire gets to the heart of why technology matters to everyone. She's been a regular commentator on broadcast news, and in her spare time, she's a cabaret enthusiast, Simpsons aficionado and closet country music lover. She originally hails from Sydney but now calls San Francisco home.
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Claire Reilly
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The American Dream puts you in a retro-look VR world where you do everything with guns for hands.

Samurai Punk

The American Dream is built on guns.

That's not acerbic political commentary. It's an observation about a virtual-reality game -- The American Dream -- that drops you smack bang in the middle of 1950s America and gives you guns for hands.

Going to work at the bakery? Slide that dough into the oven with a gun! Time for lunch? Eat your doughnut off the barrel of a gun. Feeding baby? You guessed it, little Jimmy is packing heat.

Part Norman Rockwell nostalgia, part "Edward Scissorhands" on steroids, The American Dream is the work of Australian indie developers Samurai Punk.

After working on an early split-screen multiplayer shooter, the Samurai Punk team decided to take the first-person shooter concept to its logical conclusion and create a VR world where guns aren't just for bad guys, they're for everyday life.

Game designer and Samurai Punk co-founder Winston Tang said it all came down to the question, What would you do if you had only guns for hands?

"Imagine the guy from Call of Duty, and the only way that he can interact with his world is through a gun," Tang said. "How would he live his regular life? What happens when he goes home?

"We crafted this whole bizarre 1950s, Epcot Center, World of Tomorrow-style theme park, where gun companies are trying to teach the common man how they're going to use guns to enrich their everyday life."

That means clearing rubbish from the roads using guns, eating from a gun, driving a car with gun hands. The team even went down the rabbit hole of asking, How would you go to the toilet?

It's a ridiculous VR experience, and refreshingly different from the other shooters popping up everywhere as VR gaming takes off.

And it's certainly thumbing its nose at global gun culture.

As Tang said, "There's all these conversations about gun control, but most of our time in games is spent shooting things. Something's not quite right there."

The game is making its first appearance down under at gaming confab PAX Australia after having appeared at PAX West in the US. Despite the subject, Tang said, the game has had a good reception in the States.

"I think they like the irony of it."

The team is looking for a mid-2017 release, hopefully by July 4. What better way to celebrate the independence of your nation than by blowing up a small part of it?