It’s 2084, and wealth has finished trickling down. One hundred years of supply side economics has eradicated poverty and want throughout the United States. The American Dream isn’t just a possibility for everyone; it’s a reality. Every man and woman goes to work wearing a white collar and comes home to a spacious penthouse. They only go hungry when they’re counting calories, and the only oppression they know is a tight deadline.
But still, some are dissatisfied. For them, the paperwork is too demanding, or life in a cubicle is too boring. They need to find an outlet for their stress, or a safe, discrete thrill. They need to get away from themselves, and get off.
They find what they’re looking for in black market virtual reality parlors called empathy dens. Hidden in basements and the backrooms of hobby shops, empathy dens let their clients experience the exotic past and find the freedom and adventure they crave—by living the lives of poor people in the twentieth century on public assistance. By day, they’re the titans of Wall Street, but at night they become Welfare Queens.
Welfare Queens is a role-playing game about a not-so-distant future America where white collar professionals spend their nights in back alley arcades, living virtual lives of poverty and desperation. Bored and overwhelmed by their day jobs, the stock brokers, accountants, and mid level executives of the late 21st century find adventure and catharsis through their experiences as hookers, drug pushers, trailer trash, and panhandlers.
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