Four Condos and a Containment


Would you let your children play in the park? How focused would you be during a distance learning course? Are you willing to risk going outside? Would you raid your local grocery store?

This narrative video game lets you relive these choices and compare your decisions with those of other players. By depicting the lives of four fictitious neighbors living in the same building during the first months of the COVID‑19 pandemic, it offers an original testimony to the conditions of isolation in Switzerland. Enough to keep a trace of this period already forgotten by some, leaving a trauma to others.

The project took place during the months of June and July 2020 in collaboration—but at a distance—by five people: Andrew Dobis (EPFL student, programming), Mathias Hängärtner (graphic designer), Saara Jones (UNIL student, narrative and sound design), Yannick Rochat (scientific collaborator at EPFL, project management and consulting) and Paul Ronga (journalist at Le Temps, project management and programming).

The resulting game, initiated by the IMI and developped by Le Temps, EPFL’s College of Humanities and UNIL Gamelab, was published by Le Temps in August 2020.

Keywords :
interactive storytelling, narrative design, video game, interactive media, covid-19
Original title

“Quatre apparts et un confinement”


2 months

People involved

Project leaders

Yannick Rochat (EPFL / UNIL)

Paul Ronga (Le Temps)



Andrew Dobis (EPFL)


Graphic design

Mathias Hängärtner (


Narrative and sound design

Saara Jones (UNIL)

Academic institutions

College of Humanities – CDH (EPFL)

UNIL Gamelab

Media partners

Le Temps (Ringier)


This project started in June 2020 and has been completed

In the media

RTS – Forum

Forum des idées – Le jeu du confinement: interview de Yannick Rochat


RTS – 19h30

« Quatre apparts et un confinement », un jeu vidéo pour s’immerger dans le quotidien de 4 voisins face au coronavirus


Le Temps

Un jeu vidéo pour s’immerger dans le confinement des autres



Researchers launch video game exploring the effects of confinement