Tender Claws
Based in Los Angeles, CA

Founding date:


Press / Business Contact:


The Under Presents
Virtual Virtual Reality 2
Virtual Virtual Reality


Tender Claws is an award-winning art and games studio based in Los Angeles. We are known for innovations in emerging media, a critically playful eye, and a strong foundation in storytelling. Our projects include the hybrid novel "Pry," narrative VR games "Virtual Virtual Reality" and "Virtual Virtual Reality 2," a sport played with tumbleweeds and leaf blowers "Tumball," mobile AR virtual pet "Tendar," and immersive theatrical adventures "The Under Presents" and "Tempest."


Founded by Danny Cannizzaro and Samantha Gorman in 2014, Tender Claws projects deftly explore our relationship to both the real and virtual worlds.



Virtual Virtual Reality 2 YouTube

Tempest YouTube

The Under Presents YouTube

Tendar YouTube

Virtual Virtual Reality YouTube

Pry Vimeo

Tumball Vimeo


Awards & Recognition

  • Cannes Film Festival XR, “Cannes XR x VeeR Future Award,” Official Selection - (VVR2, 2022)
  • Producers Guild of America, “Innovation Award,” Finalist - (Under, 2021)
  • Independent Games Festival (IGF), “IGF Nuovo Award,” Honorable Mention - (Under, 2021)
  • A MAZE Awards, “Human Machine Award,” Finalist - (Tempest, 2021)
  • D.I.C.E. Awards, “Immersive Reality Technical Achievement,” Finalist - (Tempest, 2021)
  • Emmy Awards, “Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Media,” Finalist - (Under, 2020)
  • SXSW Festival, “Innovation Awards,” Finalist - (Under, 2020)
  • SXSW Festival, “XR Game of the Year,” Finalist - (Under, 2020)
  • VR Awards, “VR Experience of the Year,” Winner - (Under 2020)
  • A MAZE Awards, “Most Amazing Award,” Finalist - (Under, 2020)
  • IndieCade, “Spotlight in Performance Award,” Finalist - (Under, 2020)
  • Unity Awards 2020, “Best VR Game,” Finalist - (Under 2020)
  • Raindance Film Festival, “Best Narrative Experience,” Winner - (Tempest 2020)
  • Raindance Film Festival, “VR Experience of the Year,” Winner - (Tempest 2020)
  • Raindance Film Festival, “Achievement in Design,” Honorable Mention - (Tempest 2020)
  • NoProscenium Awards, “Achievement in Live VR Production,” Winner - (Tempest, 2020)
  • NoProscenium Awards, “Audience Choice,” Winner - (Tempest, 2020)
  • Game Developer’s Choice Awards, “Best VR/AR Game,” Honorable Mention - (Tendar, 2019)
  • Independent Games Festival, “Seumas McNally Grand Prize,” Honorable Mention - (VVR, 2019)
  • IndieCade, “Official Nominee” - (Under, 2019)
  • IndieCade, “Innovation in Interaction,” Winner - (Tendar, 2018)
  • Sundance New Frontier, Official Selection - (Tendar, 2018)
  • IDFA Doc Lab, Official Selection - (Tendar, 2018)
  • International Mobile Gaming Awards, “Best VR Game,” Winner - (VVR, 2018)
  • Google Play Awards, “Best VR Experience,” Winner - (VVR, 2017)
  • Unity Awards 2017, “Best VR Game,” Finalist - (VVR, 2017)
  • The VR Awards, “VR Game of the Year,” Finalist - (VVR, 2017)
  • Vision VR/AR Awards, “Best Game,” Finalist - (VVR, 2017)
  • IndieCade, “Official Nominee” - (VVR, 2017)
  • Raindance Film Festival, “Best Mobile Interactive Experience),” Winner - (VVR, 2017)
  • The Future of Storytelling Awards, Finalist - (VVR, 2017)
  • Independent Games Festival (IGF), “Excellence in Narrative,” Finalist - (Pry, 2015)
  • Apple App Store Editors, “Apple’s Best Apps of 2015” - (Pry, 2015)
  • Slamdance Film Festival Official Selection - (Pry, 2015)
  • Future of Storytelling Prize, Finalist - (Pry, 2014)
  • Geneva International Film Festival Tous Ecrans, Official Selection - (Pry, 2014)
  • Word Play Festival of Writerly Games, Official Selection - (Pry, 2014)

Selected Articles

  • "This isn’t the empty space of a black box theater, but the fabric of dreams made digital flesh."
    - Noah J Nelson, NoProscenium
  • "[I]n true Tender Claws fashion, it is unlike anything else in virtual reality right now,"
    - Ian Hamilton, UploadVR
  • "This might be one of the most approachable pieces of theatre for the masses I’ve ever encountered"
    - Alex Coulombe, Medium
  • "A VR Game That Laughs In The Face of VR,"
    - Cecilia D’Anastasio, Kotaku
  • "the new VR game from Tender Claws is both a love letter and a parody of contemporary virtual reality culture."
    - J.H. Fearless, Vice
  • "Equal parts trippy and humorous."
    - Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica
  • "An absurdist black comedy [...] that plays with ideas of tourism, travel and authority."
    - Laura Parker, The New York Times
  • "All is not what it seems in this darkly comic and visually stunning outing."
    - Matthew Field, The Telegraph
  • "How do you put a score on something as brilliantly bizarre as this surrealist story of VR gone too far?"
    - Jamie Feltham, UploadVR

presskit() by Rami Ismail (Vlambeer) - also thanks to these fine folks