Escape can offer a reprieve from daily COVID life. But if you can't physically go anywhere, immersing yourself in fictional worlds - like the ones of online games - can help with the social isolation of the pandemic. We talk to University of Saskatchewan professor Regan Mandryk about how videogames can help us relieve stress and connect with others during the pandemic and beyond. Plus, Spark producer Olsy Sorokina talks about the appeal of Animal Crossing.
And, while fictional worlds can seem like escapism, fiction often offers us insight into truth that daily reality denies us. Stephanie Lepp uses deepfake video tech to create fictional epiphanies and moments of personal transformation by public figures like Mark Zuckerberg and Alex Jones. As use of the technology extends beyond political disinformation campaigns, what are the ethics of using deepfakes to enlighten rather than deceive?