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  • Writer's pictureTiago Massochin

Understanding Doomscrolling: A Deep Dive into Fear and Social Media

Updated: Jun 14, 2023

Greetings everyone. Today, I'd like to take you behind the scenes of our research process, a significant part of our game development. One of our key goals in designing this game has been to shed light on the concept of doomscrolling and its impact on society and users' emotions.

Discovering Doomscrolling

Interestingly enough, doomscrolling was an unfamiliar term to me before I began this project, despite being acutely aware of the sensationalist nature of the media and its societal repercussions. During the early stages of our research, we started to comprehend the gravity of this issue, especially its amplification via social media platforms.

The graphic above illustrates the alarming rise of fake news between 2000 to 2017. This rise can be attributed to a combination of sensationalist news articles and social media algorithms that prioritize content based on the user's attention. This dynamic creates an unending cycle of fear, anxiety, and worry – the essence of doomscrolling.

Historical Perspective

Human beings, albeit unpleasantly, seem instinctively drawn to this type of news, possibly stemming from an inherent need to stay informed about potential threats. Sensational news outlets focusing mainly on crime and violence often exploit this instinctive tendency.

What I found even more intriguing was how this phenomenon was not new to Brazil. Long before the era of digital media, fear was used as a manipulative tool. For instance, during the 1964 Brazilian dictatorship, the military employed false news about an impending communist invasion to instill fear in the population and thereby justify their hold on power. This was a highly effective strategy, as many Brazilians who lived through this era still believed in this non-existent threat.

Implications for Under Choices

Understanding the historical and psychological implications of doomscrolling and fear-driven manipulation has been instrumental in shaping the narrative of "Under Choices." We believe this understanding will bring depth to the game's dystopian setting, reinforcing its educational objective and enhancing the player's immersive experience.

In conclusion, the development of "Under Choices" has been a journey of discovery, not just in terms of game design but also in understanding the societal impact of fear and manipulating information. I'm excited to continue this journey and share it with you through this devlog. Your feedback and engagement are invaluable to me, and I look forward to continuing this dialogue as we explore the world of "Under Choices" together.

As we progress in our development journey, we'll continue to share behind-the-scenes insights, development hurdles, and solutions, keeping you updated on how our game is shaping up. So, make sure to stay tuned for future updates.

Remember, we're always open to feedback and questions from you, our community. After all, this journey is as much yours as it is ours.

Signing off,

Zizo Mass


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