THIS IS REALITY 2000

Style: Legally, I suspect I am not allowed to say it’s like being on Big Brother.
Where: Zoom

Rating: 5/5 stars

We didn’t start well. Half of us were either late or had forgotten to follow the (quite simple) instructions in the pre-emails so it took us a while to get going. The Housemaster clearly knew from the start that he had a job on his hands keeping us in line. That they did manage to guide us gracefully and pretty seamlessly through the game is a testament to how well put together This is reality 2000 is.

In This is Reality 2000 groups of between six and twelve people sign up to play a range of characters. From the ‘diva’ Jordan Mann-Hunter (me absolutely not playing to type…!), the ‘Toff” Charlie Forbes or ‘eccentric’ Sasha Fortune. You are given a character sheet in advance with key characteristics and facts to help you get into the role. There is also the option to take a non-participatory role as a viewer.

Me (second row on the right) and the gang

The game is played out over 15 short activities where housemates – i.e. players – are given a series of tasks to do. Each is also given secret objectives to follow through on that are relevant either to their character or their hopes of success in the game. The tasks were nicely varied, including a themed scavenger hunt, a quiz and a drawing task. We were put into teams which then involved a good use of Zoom breakout rooms.

Like much online immersive, this is a long affair at around two and a half hours. But because of the break up into chapters (punctuated by fantastically nostalgic musical breaks) it absolutely zipped by.

This is a game that is so much more fun if you get into character. I wouldn’t recommend it to those who would feel silly or half-hearted in doing so, because you would not only spoil your own enjoyment, but that of your friends too. But if you’re willing to throw yourself into it you can and will have an incredibly fun and enjoyable evening.

We laughed throughout our time playing This is Reality 2000. People who hadn’t known each other before (I was the common link) were getting on like a house on fire by the end. We were transported out of the bleakness of winter and the times and back to the days when everyone knew who Marjory the chicken was and the nastiest thing we could imagine a former reality star doing was writing names on a piece of paper rather than locking children up in cages.

If you need a bit of glorious escapism – and right now, who doesn’t – then (virtually) gather your mates and sign up for This is Reality 2000. Because while this remains the reality of 2021, then having fun like this is essential.

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