Following the US presidential election results today, you’ve probably been completely overwhelmed by media outlets repeating the news all day – repeating it, analysing it, getting people off the street to talk about it.
The news has quite literally been everywhere you look, and for some people, games will be a low priority for the next few days while the dust settles.
However, even if you’re too preoccupied by current events to focus on long or plot-heavy games, you should still take five minutes to play this uncomfortably relevant free browser game.
Created by indie game developer and investigative journalist Nicky Case, We Become What We Behold features a simple grassy area filled with people with either square or circular heads, and a television screen which broadcasts the news in the centre of it all. As a reporter, your job is to take a picture of anything “interesting” going on, which could be as simple as a man wearing a cool hat.
Once your picture has been taken, it is broadcasted on the news, and people in the surrounding area react to it. At the start, this is as innocent as starting a new hat craze.
Things gradually get more serious as you report on one isolated act of violence between a circle-headed person and a square-headed person. As you report on this, people become fearful, which you then report on as “circles afraid of squares”.
You can probably guess what happens after this. The media continues to escalate the situation, encouraging acts of violence and fearfulness among the populace in a manner that is frighteningly real.
Case describes WBWWB as “a game about news cycles, vicious cycles, infinite cycles”. It’s clear the game has drawn strong inspiration from the run up to this year’s US election, considering Case’s next project is “an explorable explanation on voting systems”.
— Nicky Case (@ncasenmare) November 5, 2016
So, if you’re in the mood for some reflection on the state of our world’s media at the moment, then you can play We Become What We Behold here.