Viral 《不要出门》 is a conversation between China and Black America in an age of pandemic and protest.
Told through six interactive musical story experiences, it is a re-imagining of a time spent between quarantine and demonstrations as a video game sent from a revolutionary future. Explore the metaverse of MC Tingbudong in a choose-your-own-path style virtual adventure created from hours of news clips, virtual reality videos, social media and personal footage shot during the dawn of the “Viral Age”. Discover hidden connections between cultures while you connect and chat with other people from around the world. Navigate through the futuristic desktop of the avatar-mind MC Tingbudong, and time travel through the aesthetics of different technological eras, and to the far-flung future city of NYXX. Boot up the floppy drive, grab your mobile phone and put on your VR headset - Viral blurs the lines between language, online and IRL, retro and futuristic.
We’re in a world that seems openly hostile to us - from Covid-19 variants and climate change, to the climate ofanti-asian xenophobia, border militarization and far right fascist governments heating up around the planet. In this pandemic era Planet Earth, every person is a hazard or potential threat. We don protective equipment like scuba divers, retrieving what treasures we can from the dangers beyond. Our ziploc sealed homes, N-95 masks and factimes safer than face to face. The very devices that bred addiction, atomization, and anxiety becoming the only thing keeping us connected to one another and feeling human. Yet these same channels spawn fascist death cults, end-times fanatics, and a culture of individualism channeling revelers during the final days of the black plague, or the final minutes of the Titanic. As Black America and China are put squarely in the crosshairs of the pandemic, we spent the past period embroiled in waves of outbreaks and protest with no signs of slowing down - from #BlackLivesMatter to #ClimateActionNow to #StopAsianHate...what does the future hold?
In an ironic twist, at the end of the world, instead of the lights going out, the lights stayed on and exposed the cracks underneath the surface.
Welcome to the Viral Age where you try to catch fifteen seconds of fame without catching a deadly virus, where the apocalypse is captured in ethereal fifteen second clips, and we trade text messages across trash heaps in a sci-fi wasteland. We live in a high-tech dark age, with Christian fascists coming to power in the world's most powerful empire during a global pandemic, where misinformation, conspiracy theory and technology are used to lure the masses into repeating the system’s genocidal logic. Sometime in the 21st century, the words “Chinese Virus” went viral and ushered in a new age of anti-Asian xenophobia, with increased attacks on Asian people around the globe, and diplomatic tensions rising between the US and China. Black and brown people were thrown to the slaughter in the US Empire- with the impact of the pandemic disproportionately affecting those who were already catchng the hardest hell. People turn against one another, or intward altogether, leaving the system to go grinding on as the planet burns and floodwaters rise.
Yet as sharp as things may be, we are living through a time of unprecedented struggle and possibility. The Beautiful Uprising of 2020, we’ve learned to organize and build culture online and in the streets in ways the world’s never seen before.This showed the potential for a reolutionary movement that could liberate humanity, and millions more came to see the ugly reality of the US Empire in full 3D. The rulers are fighting at the top - and can no longer rule in the old way, opening up the potential for struggle from below. This is a rare time and turning point in society. If only there was a revolutionary force - and a revolutionary people - that could recognize and act on it...
Viral is a video game sent from the future New Socialist Republic of North America to a generation of revolutionaries to crash this capitalist imperialist system. It is sent from a time years after the pandemic and Beautiful Uprising, out of which emerged an all out struggle for power and revolution in the US Empire. This future society is transitioning from its brutal past of state violence and repression - and is working to dismantle the institutions, and undo the backward ideas of old. Collective work, housing and education is guaranteed, but there are no multinational companies - the factories and international supply chains of the old capitalist world are the collective property of society. This isn’t a society of abundance, their resources are aimed at solving the problems and meeting the collective needs of humanity.
Yet the vestiges of the old world still linger, with Christian Fascists Confederacy still active in west of the Mississippi and east of the Rocky Mountains, and influence and advances of capitalist imperialist China on the territory, values and culture of the west coast of the NSRNA. Climate change still wreaks havoc on the planet, generating hazy skies, eternally purple sunsets, and pyrocanes. This is a society in transition despite tremendous odds - with an ethos of ingenuity and internationalism in the face of repairing the planet, and dismantling the institutions and ideas of the old world:
From the Constitution: Preamble
The New Socialist Republic in North America could only have been brought into being as a result of heroic, self-sacrificing struggle carried out by millions and millions of people who had been forced to live under a system of exploitation and oppression in the former United States of America; who could no longer tolerate the continual outrages and injustices perpetrated by the system of capitalism-imperialism and the structures and institutions of power and repression which enforced all this with violence and brutality as well as lies and deception; who refused to any longer accept that this was the best possible society and world, and were increasingly aware of and inspired by the possibility of a radically different and better society and world; and who therefore rose up, with the leadership of the Revolutionary Communist Party, to defeat, abolish and dismantle the imperialist system in the former USA and its institutions and apparatus of repression and violence.
As part of the wave of socialst revolutions that took place around the world following the establishment of the NSRNA, China has become the dominant capitalist imperialist society in the world, spurning a wave of immigration from the Chinese and Asian diaspora to the NSRNA capital mega-city NYXX. The former US Empire is loosely divided into three territories, NSRNA in the East Coast, Los San Zhuo in the West, with the Christian Fascist Confederacy still active in in middle pockets of the territory. With a shared history of struggle in the first wave of socialist revolutions in the 20th century, African American and Chinese communities played a significant role in the Beautiful Uprising of 2020, and the Beautiful Rebellion that followed in the period after. These alliances sparked a migratory movement where Chinatowns became a cultural and political hub for the revolution, changing the demographics on the megacities of the east and west coast of the NSRNA...
From the Constitution: Central Government.
As an expression of the multi-national, multilingual character of the New Socialist Republic in North America, of the history and current composition of the population of this Republic, and of its internationalist orientation and its goal of overcoming and abolishing all inequality between nationalities and cultures, all education shall be conducted in English and Mandarin Chinese equally, as a matter of government policy. Along with this, it shall be the goal of the state to encourage and assist people in society as a whole to become fluent in both English and Mandarin Chinese and, as far as possible, to acquaint themselves with other languages, particularly those spoken by significant groups within the population of this Republic, as well as languages spoken by significant numbers of people in other parts of the world.
This is a society of cultural and technological upcycling aimed at zero waste. All clothing is produced from previous material; similarly, there is increased interest in the culture and technologies of the 21st century; and repurposing of those technologies and systems. Young people grow up learning to build their own gaming and communication consoles out of spare parts from the tech-repurposing centers that outline the outer boroughs of mega-cities. MC Tingbudong is the avatar-mind of a science-artist in the NSRNA, living in NYXX - a sprawling chaotic metropolis ecompassing the major cities on the the east coast of the former US Empire. VIRAL is a history project to learn about the ‘Viral Age’ - the inflection point in the mid-21st century in which a revolutionary situation was brought into being; a pandemic that exposed the lopsided society underneath; the Beautiful Uprising, and the beginnings of the era where the rulers of the old society could no longer rule in the old way; that led a revolution that laid the basis to emancipate humanity.
From the Constitution: Education.
One of the most important purposes of the educational system in the New Socialist Republic in North America is to enable students (and the people broadly) to learn deeply about the reality of, and the basis for, the oppression of whole peoples, and the domination and oppression of women, in the former imperialist USA and throughout the world where societies have been founded on exploitation and ruled by exploiting classes– and, on this basis, to become deeply dedicated to and actively involved in the fight to uproot and eliminate all such relations of inequality and oppression
Watch the commercial, call the toll-free number number, and follow MC Tingbudong down the rabbithole on a musical journey through time and cyberspace. Explore the futuristic desktop of the avatar-mind MC Tingbudong, and dive into Say U Dunno’s drum and bass-fueled Dreamcast-style cityscape, relive the beautiful uprising of 2020 through a VHS and retro game filter in Aint How, or doom scroll your way through the internet during the early days of the pandemic in the MS-DOS inspired world of Viral. Get lost in a glitched out Wechat message feed in Weixing U Were here, and test your knowledge through bilingual rap karaoke. Go Thru the Window watch live events, and join conversations on the cultural connections between black america and china. Upload your avatar-mind, chat with other time travelers, and dive into the futuristic city of NYXX in an immersive 3D playground on your browser, mobile or virtual reality device.
PLAYER DISCLAIMER: This aint just a game. We are living through a rare time in history with two futures ahead -either reactionary or revolutionary - which do you choose? Dive into this message from the future in this virtual adventure, and join the movement to make that future real today.
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