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News cycles. Vicious cycles. Infinite cycles.
"peace is boring. violence goes viral."
We Become What We Behold is a video game created by Nutcase Nightmare, released on Kongregate in 2016. It's a Deconstruction Game, which starts off peacefully, with you taking pictures of things, like a man in a hat... but quickly turns into a bloody mess, with clickbait hashtags and Flame Wars. Basically a satire of the internet/modern media cycle.
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You can play it here. It's recommended to do so before reading the trope list, since it is rather short.


We trope what we behold:

  • An Aesop: Our tendencies to only cover things based on what generates attention and holing ignorant beliefs based off little evidence is incredibly dangerous.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: Quite literally. The man in the hat at the beginning seems innocuous enough at first. He triggers the war later on by shooting the happy (formerly shouty) square man.
  • Chirping Crickets: If you take a boring picture with a broken hashtag, the only one watching the screen is a cricket. Take a picture of the cricket, three will be watching.
  • Deconstruction Game: For Memetic Mutation and Flame War.
  • Downer Ending: The game eventually reaches a point where things dissolve into total chaos and violence, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. The couple advocating peace live, though.
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  • Easter Egg: Taking a picture of the cricket before it jumps off-screen has a small group of three crickets observing their colleague.
  • Fantastic Racism: Taking a picture of the spiky-haired, square-headed guy screaming into someone's face leads to a circle-headed person becoming afraid of all square-heads, which ultimately spirals into all the circle-heads and the square-heads killing each other... with the exception of the romantic couple, one of which is a circle, the other a square.
  • Flame War: Happens after a certain amount of time and gossip. Later turns into an actual war.
  • Flyaway Shot: When all-out war happens, the camera slowly pans back to show all the violence is being displayed on a laptop screen, before a cut to credits and one last shot of the romantic couple mourning all of the dead.
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  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: "snobbery, rudeness, & mass murder"
  • The Generic Guy: The normal people walking around. If you take a photo of them, the broken hashtag is "Just some normal peeps".
  • Get a Room!: Taking a picture of a couple walking around gives the hashtag "GROSS... GO GET A ROOM!"
  • #HashtagForLaughs: Every single picture you take has a hashtag with a witty sentence. Though it isn't played for laughs for long.
  • Hope Springs Eternal: After the credits, it's shown the couple advocating peace survived in the end, and set up a memorial.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: The game is a brutal parody of sensationalist "click-bait" news. All bets are off when trying to broadcast good news for a change leads to "Peace is boring. Violence goes viral."
  • Jerkass: The spiky-haired guy starts as one, but mellows out. However, by the end of the game, just about everyone else is angry and hateful towards each other.
  • Love Redeems: The couple gives one of their hats to the spiky-haired guy who was scaring people and he spends the rest of the game with a goofy smile, not scaring anyone. Until he's blown to bits.
  • Mass "Oh, Crap!": Everyone stops what they're doing and looks on in horror when the man in the hat draws a gun on the spiky-haired man.
  • Mood Whiplash: Immediately before the man in the hat murders the spiky-haired man, you can take a picture of him and mock his hat. Being only five minutes long, the game is also this.
  • Nice Hat: When you take a photo of a guy with a hat, the hashtag says "OOH NICE HAT" and other people start wearing them. Trying this again afterwards leads to "nvm hats aren't cool now" as the trend dies.
  • True Love Is Boring: Taking pictures of people getting along after a certain point gives broken hashtags about how people getting along is boring.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: It's unclear what the spiky-haired guy was intending to do. But by the time he's mellowed out, another character's grudge against his past actions leads to his own death, immediately followed by the deaths of nearly everyone else.
  • Wham Shot: The moment the man in the hat draws a gun on the spiky-haired guy. Everything stops cold as they all realize what's going to happen and that there's nothing they can do to stop it. When he pulls the trigger, all hell breaks loose.
  • Windmill Crusader: At the end of the game, taking pictures of people with weapons generates the hashtag "BE SCARED. BE ANGRY." and more people start attacking each other.

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