Our insatiable craving for drama and violence is beautifully captured in a short, five-minute browser-based game that provides at the news-cycle feedback loop and forces us to reflect on our role in the way the media portrays our eyes.
We Become What We Behold is an enthralling look at our culture of violence and conflict in which conflict determines the news and drives our reactions to it, and all of this is reported via social media outrage. The stories whirl across the media cycle in endless loops, increasing in intensity as violence as well as conflict and confrontation are fed by each other, and feed the public that demands more of the similar.
Your job in this game is function as a photographer. You point and clicks to take a picture of interesting things for the current news cycle. The photo will be shown at the top of the screen located in the middle of the screen in an article from the news. The image is displayed with a social media ticker that tells you if the subject you have captured is worthy of being featured in the news. If so, what depicted in the photo will impact people in the scene in the news cycle, and the local culture will change accordingly. If not, then the public won’t notice it , and nothing will change.
However, you soon realize that the conflict is what draws the people around you and you must find and capture stories of this kind and causes the tension to grow as the documentation influences the people who watch the local TV.
It’s a five-minute game but I’d advise having it played multiple times as there are things you can take pictures of (usually not suitable for the media’s obsession with news) that you don’t be able to think of or be able to miss. After playing through, it’s worth going back to allow yourself time to reflect on the roles media and its viewers have in creating the current climate of culture the present.
The conclusion of We Become What We Behold is filled with optimism however, and I’d strongly recommend reading Nicky’s post-mortem about the game once you’ve played the game as it can help you think more positively approach to the challenges we’ll encounter this year globally.