Jack and Sam’s eDream Portal

Sam Hains

“Jack and Sam’s eDream Portal” is a real-time video simulation, about the search for the human and the authentic within a simulated world.



“While most tools produce effects on a wider world of which they are only a part, the computer contains its own worlds in miniature.” – Wendy Hui Kyong Chun.

As reality is drafted into digital environments, the computer simulation offers the opportunity to create worlds and bodies without unwanted complexity. It allows us to devise private games and internally consistent worlds in the face of absurdity and paradox. Advances in computer imaging technology towards “photorealism” further seduce us into believing that we are looking at concrete realities rather than ideological assemblages of math and code. As reality is increasingly reflected through the small mirrors of digital simulation, we risk losing sight of the mysterious nature of our lived experience.

In opposition to this, “Jack and Sam’s eDream Portal” is a series of “video games that play themselves” . By creating automated worlds that make no gesture towards fetishized “graphic realism” or instrumental modes of seduction, we begin to see the simulation for what it is: A world we can’t escape from. A future predetermined by various corporate, political and ideological entities. A prison where an emancipatory politic is a fleeting and distant reality.