Since the dawn of Sweden, humankind has wrestled with a very difficult question: how can you experience the beauty of a nordic state nestled between Norway and Finland without leaving the comfort of your home?
Now the answer to that question is here: Sweden Simulator 2015.
The game can run on the virtual reality systems Oculus Rift and Google Cardboard, but if you're a simple Sweden-admirer like me it also runs fine in a browser.
It starts out like this, as you're offered a series of Swedish experiences:
I started out with a casual stroll down the street, complete with a stroller.
All my favorite Swedish characters were there: guy in jean shorts; dour, black-clad bespectacled fella; man in striped shirt; bearded pal; and who could forget the joggers.
Having taken my (presumably) baby for an urban stroll, I decided to wait in line.
Systembolaget is a liquor store. We're waiting in line for booze!
I tried to talk to the twins for a while, but the line wasn't moving, so I gave up and decided to head to the bar for a little "Vaska!"
For the uninitiated (I was once like you, a mere hour ago), vaska involves pouring champagne down the sink. It started out a few years ago after various Swedish establishments barred patrons from celebrating by spraying champagne around the room. Here it is in real life:
In Sweden Simulator 2015 there isn't really a sink around, so I had to make do with pouring champagne on the floor. I was careful to avoid ruining my fellow revelers' shoes.
While partying was fun, I wanted to move on to the last couple experiences the simulator could give me. First, a midsummer celebration on a country island.
We danced and danced, I was drawn beyond the island, wondering: what else was out there?
But it turns out that all that remained for me to experience was winter. In Sweden Simulator 2015 winter simply looks like this:
The site says more Sweden simulations are yet to come, but for now all there is to return to is this dark winter. No light, no Swedish friends in brightly colored sneakers, only darkness.
Dejected, I closed the tab, returning to my life as a blogger in New York. Back to deadlines, Twitter, but with a new nordic-tinged ennui.
But hey, perhaps that's the most Swedish experience of all.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org