The game we are designing simulates the action of “retweeting” and explores how misinformation and fake news spread and intensify on the internet. Through this game, we aim to highlight the severe consequences of how misinformation can obscure our consumption of knowledge and thus sway or reinforce our belief systems in various ways. Additionally, we plan to delve into the origins of misinformation and the entanglement of fake news with financial gains and political agendas.
The core loop of our game requires players to decide whether to publish news on the internet. If the news is published and later found to be fake, it will diminish the credibility of the media platform. Conversely, if the news is withheld but later proven true, it will lower the player’s credibility as a reporter. Players must navigate the complex interactions between publishing or not publishing news and face the varying consequences of their decisions.
Our game’s narrative arc focuses on the characters, portrayed as news accounts on social media platforms. Initially, players must draw a headline and determine whether they think it is true or not (this underscores the difficulty in distinguishing fake news in our current media). Continuously spreading misinformation will decrease the platform’s credibility, leading to fewer users (the specifics of this narrative are still being finalized). On the other hand, as operators of their own accounts, players aim to stay abreast of current events and continue publishing information for clout and internet influence. Therefore, ceasing to send any news risks damaging their own gains. This creates a two-part arc: one simulating the overall media platform and the other focusing on the player’s personal account.