To exist in the virtual world is to have two bodies, four hands, two hearts. In Shadowtime, a guide to this double world leads you through irreconcilable realities and through the virtual as a place to take shelter.
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Release Date:
Jul 10, 2024

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“A poetic contemplation of escapism and real-world threats, like Climate Change.”

“Shadowtime pioneers the VR essay, critiquing sci-fi dystopic aspirations of VR.”
Voice of VR

“Shadowtime is a VR about VR, capable of telling the cultural history of this medium and, perhaps, making it glimpse the future.”

About This Game


This VR essay guides you from Ivan Sutherland’s historical creation of the first head-mounted VR display through different iterations of simulation theory in a powerful, embodied critique of virtual realities as a possible solution to current emergency conditions.

‘Shadowtime’ is a new word coined for our age by Ranu Mukherjee and the Bureau of Linguistical Reality, describing the feeling of occupying two irreconcilable times simultaneously. It is being stuck in a traffic jam on your way to work and realizing that the gas in your engine is the compressed mass of prehistoric creatures. It is scrolling through your phone and remembering that the earth is changing irrevocably. In ‘Shadowtime’, directors Sister Sylvester and Deniz Tortum take these temporal incompatibilities and explore them in the realm of virtual reality and simulation theory.

Is the shadow world of VR just a hiding place, an escape from reality? Or is it the perfect context for learning about how to be in two places at once?


“You are in two worlds at the same time. Your body is in the other world, but your heart is in this one.”
To exist in the virtual world is to have two bodies, four hands, two hearts. Alma, a mysterious guide to this double world, leads you through questions around the climate crisis, irreconcilable realities, and the virtual as a place to take shelter.

AI Generated Content Disclosure

The team utilised AI due to the thematic relevance of the story. This application marks the first use of AI in creating 3D and 6DOF environments that morph seamlessly into one another in VR. This innovative technique is showcased in a short sequence within the experience.

Institute of Time

Based in Utrecht, Institute of Time ( is an interdisciplinary film and new media company specializing in documentary films and XR experiences. Focusing on creative projects around climate change, it aims to bring a different perspective to our current life and uncertain future with storytelling.

Recommended Settings

"Shadowtime" is a hand-tracking experience designed specifically for PC-linked Meta Quest 2 headset.
  • Graphic Quality: To achieve optimal graphic quality, ensure that an h265 codec is installed on your PC.

"Shadowtime" will run properly even if you don't have all these settings.
For more information about the settings:

AI Generated Content Disclosure

The developers describe how their game uses AI Generated Content like this:

The team produced IA 360 videos representing some architectural environnement.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows 10
    • Processor: Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD FX 8350
    • Memory: 16 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce RTX 2080
    • Storage: 9 GB available space
    • VR Support: Meta Quest device, Steam VR
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