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Role-Play With Your Friends as Influencers Dying to Go Viral

The list of things that influencers have done for attention is terrifying. Creators have eaten 10,000 calories in one sitting, glued their lips together and smashed gallons of milk on the floor in public. When Logan Paul recorded himself finding a dead body in a Japanese forest known for suicides, it caused a backlash across the internet.

The new video game Content Warning pushes that do-anything-for-fame premise to a madly meta extreme.

Players role-play as content creators venturing to abandoned factories and spectral ships to record murderous monsters. The objective: Get footage to upload to the fictional website SpookTube without being killed. Players earn “views” depending on how frightening their clips are, and will lose if they do not meet a quota within a few days.

“It’s inspired by influencer culture, the grind of creating content and beating the algorithms to get views,” said Petter Henriksson, one of the game’s designers and programmers. “The length people will go to go viral or die trying is really something.”

Content Warning has quickly become one of the year’s biggest horror games, a surprise hit from the Swedish studio Landfall, which is known for other silly, ragdoll-physics-based titles like Totally Accurate Battle Simulator. Released for the PC as part of the studio’s April Fools’ Day tradition, the game sold a million copies within two weeks.

Both Content Warning and the similarly successful Lethal Company benefit from proximity chat, which lets players communicate only when they are physically nearby within the game. But an added camera function elevates Content Warning, motivating players to make life-threatening decisions that they will later watch via a television in their communal home.

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