What doesn't kill you...kills someone else, and leads you down an ethical rabbit hole. In the near future, paying users can rent the "virtual experiences" of other people. These "feeders" sublet their own bodies, at the risk of their own lives, so that customers can safely enjoy extreme, potentially self-destructive vices, like binge eating, cliff diving, or worse.
"Rent-a-Vice" is a 150,000-word interactive cyberpunk-noir mystery novel, and 2018 Nebula Award for Game Writing Finalist, by Natalia Theodoridou, where your choices control the story. It's entirely text-based—without graphics or sound effects—and fueled by the vast, unstoppable power of your imagination.
You're a private investigator with a bad habit, an ex, and mountains of debt--troubles so deep that you stand to lose custody of your kid. When a mysterious client asks for your help finding their missing lover in the seamy world of virtual experience, it's up to you to gather evidence, experience the technology for yourself, and solve the case.
Delve into the darkest corners of the clandestine Rent-a-Vice industry. If you believe the etho-politicians, VE compromises the well-being of society, and normalizes vice and disorder. But what are users after? Is it entertainment, or something deeper? And is there anything in it for the feeders, other than profit?
As for you, will you resist your own vices, or go all in?
• Play as male, female, or non-binary; gay, straight, or bisexual.
• Fight or embrace your personal demons, struggle against the machinery of power, and find friendship in unlikely places.
• Save those in trouble or extort them for your silence, or go rogue and burn the entire industry to the ground.
• Expose corruption or exploit it for your gain.
• Test your skills as a PI while you share other people's experiences of life and death.
• Trade favors to retain custody of your child; reunite with your ex, or find romance with someone new.
• Become a champion for the marginalized, usher in a new ethical standard, or step on corpses to climb to the top.