A choose-your-own-adventure game that deliver critical social warnings and raise questions toward the use of current social media.
Inspired by a Black Mirror episode - Nose Dive.
Brainstormed topics and issue that interest me
Minority ethnic group representation on films and social media
Racism toward immigrant, specifically asian ethnic groups in the States
Mental health problems stemming from current social media use
Decided to do further research and focus on:
Social media & mental health
Inspiration from Black Mirror
In recent years, Black Mirror became incredibly popular due to its ability to deliver grave societal warnings through strong plot structured short film. For myself, I was especially interested Nose Dive. A short recap of Nose Dive on Wikipedia reads: "Society uses a technology where, through eye implants and mobiles devices, everyone shares their daily activities and rates their interactions with others on a one-to-five star scale, which affects that person's overall rating. One's current average can be seen by others and has significant influence on their socioeconomic status" . The film then starts with Lacie Pound, whose current rating is 4.2 and is seeking to reach 4.5 for a discount to a luxury apartment. The rest follows her journey to achieve that by doing alot of thing she doesn't enjoy. If you're still reading and you haven't watch Nose Dive, I'm sorry but it's about to get spoiled.
Lacie has do alot of superficial things to boost her ratings and one of the worst is to attend wedding of a friend who only needs Lacie to boost her own ratings. Things fell apart and Lacie ends up in jail with a below 2.0 ratings.
Even though it sounds far-fetch, it resonates a lot to me as a millennial whose part of life is social media. I, myself, have experienced times when I presented myself differently on social media in order to be better perceived by other. Specifically, looking at people's share of their perfect lives on social media encourages me to post about my own's best moments. Yet when I'm on social media, I often get lost in my head and wonder why my life isn't as fun, exciting or ... beautiful like theirs. I made this app to portray the ridiculousness of this idea but also bring awareness to how unhealthy social media could be
Creating my own story
My goal for this game is to bring awareness to how toxic social media could be if you get lost in today's chaotic online world. Sometimes the people you see online isn't what they "post" to be. Originally I wanted to utilize the story line in Nose Dive for my game but I realize it's not creative and would not be interesting to for people who has watched the show.
Thus, I created a twist.
My story starts with a warning notification : " You're rating has reached danger zone"
I believe this would catch the audience attention right away. The text itself seems very out of context but addressing "you" and "danger" in the same sentence? People would check it out.
The story is about the player who quit using AIR but has downloaded it again due to significantly low rating. If players pay attention, there are hints suggesting that this isn't their first time on AIR.
I did this because I want to tackle the fact that many young adults(me included) try to quit social media only to download them again after a few days. It's so common that's it's actually ... a meme.
Throughout my game, there would be some ridiculous task you'd have to do. For examples you either have to post about your perfect body (unrealistic body standards much..?) or your expensive vacation ( that you can't really afford). This is my attempt of using satire to criticize the current concern of social media and its unrealistic standards.
I've designed this game to end as if the player has "quit" the app finally for the second time. I chose to do so because I want my message to be:
With social media being incredibly integrated in our lives, sometimes it's unrealistic to truly quit them, instead, they should be used critically and intelligently.
User Flow & UI
Before going into create this app, I analyzed the original design in the episode. I want to my app to have a Black-Mirror-feel to it but I did not want to plagiarize their design. Because that's no fun :) Some noticeable traits of the original design are:
Sans - serif fonts
Achromatic color scheme of pink
Futura PT font
Achromatic color scheme of blues
I developed this fully functioning app on Xcode with 20+ view controller scene connected by UI Buttons.