Robert Yang by Eleanor Davis picture of two people walking, one with a radio on the shoulder

We Dwell in Possibility is a queer gardening simulation shaped by intimacy and politics – designed by Robert Yang, a videogame developer whose work explores gay subcultures, with visuals by cartoonist and illustrator Eleanor Davis. It’s the third world premiere in the Virtual Factory series, inviting artists to imagine new worlds in response to the physical architecture and artistic ambition of MIF’s future home.

Robert Yang is an architect of virtual space whose work addresses the politics of videogame worlds, asking: who do these worlds represent and who do they exclude? Subverting crowd simulation software used by architects of physical buildings, We Dwell in Possibility invites the player to create their own improvised landscape. A virtual heaven or hell, or maybe both at once – a society.

Simulated AI people – ‘peeps’, as Yang calls them – move around naked, alone or in crowds. The seedlings they plant grow into suggestive ‘trees’ that periodically bear fruit – and it’s then for the peeps to decide whether to eat the fruit and transform themselves, or to destroy what they’ve just created.

Free to play, We Dwell in Possibility is the latest new world anticipating the kind of work that will soon be created, produced and presented at The Factory, MIF's future year-round home.


Design Robert Yang & Eleanor Davis
Visuals Eleanor Davis with assistance from Sophia Foster-Dimino
Code Robert Yang
Music aya
Sound Design aya & Andy Grier
Additional Voiceover Zoe Brown

Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival.

Image: Eleanor Davis.