Starving

A VR experience about the fear and anxiety felt when someone with an Eating Disorder is about to “fall into the temptation”.

The concept

To give you an idea, most anorexics had, more than one, chewed and immediately spit food just to feel the taste of it.

The project aims to recreate a common feeling that people with anorexia and bulimia experience, how anorexics can feel after days, weeks, or even months restricting themselves from junk food. But also how a binge eating episode can be felt by bulimics.

The scene

It is late at night and all you had eaten during the day is an apple (50kcal), a yogurt without sugar (45kcal), and loads of water. You are getting closer to your weight goal, you have been eating this much for about 2 weeks now and you feel exhausted, so you head out to the kitchen to grab another apple, which will sum up as 150kcal today, which is fine, you need to eat to keep yourself alive, right?

Your kitchen has a soft light, coloured by pink and orange shadows that make it feel like a warm but scary place. You love food, but it makes you fat.

Once you are inside the kitchen, looking for that apple, you can see how junk food appeared on the counter. You try to focus on getting only an apple, but then you start hearing music typical from a horror movie, and the food starts duplicating.

The fear of feeling again how you are actually getting FAT by eating makes you out your mind. You try to resist the temptation thinking “I will only have a bite, then I spit it. I deserve it, I am in complete control of myself. I can handle it”.

But the truth is once you start, there’s no way of ending it without regrets. Even if you only chew it and then spit it, you feel stupid by even getting food into your mouth.

The anxiety increases and the delirium starts. You try to scape from the food by hitting it to make it disappear, but as a virus, it duplicates exponentially. There’s no way of ending this, you are trapped in your own nightmare.

This is a screenshot of Unity so you can get an idea of the whole scene and how the light was created as a combination of pink (Ana, anorexia) and purple (Mia, bulimia).


The project was made with Unity in 2018 during the Master in Advanced Interaction (IAAC).