“Likehunter: Become a Social Star” Fake Video Game Makes Winning Life Dependent on Your Social Media Followers

If you sometimes feel like social media has turned life into a video game, you’re not alone; stock footage company Dissolve is right there with you — which is why they’ve created a gameplay trailer for a fake video game titled “Likehunter: Become a Social Star.” The game doesn’t actually exist (thank goodness), although others like it do (hi there, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood! ) — and it does raise some interesting points. Let’s take a closer look at it, shall we?

It’s actually a pretty clever video — Dissolve created it as a reel to showcase their footage. But I also find it an enormously stressful concept, mostly because of this: If I am certain of only one thing, it is that I would be in a constant state of failing if my success in life were directly proportionate to how many social media followers I have. Although I do have accounts on things like Twitter, it’s really only because they’re useful tools for people who make a living on the Internet. I don’t really make it a priority to increase my social media presence; I only have a couple hundred Twitter followers — small fries in the grand social media scheme of things — but to be honest, that number still both baffles and intrigues me enough on its own.

Why do we gain such a sense of accomplishment from knowing that hundreds or thousands of strangers follow our every status update? Studies suggest that it’s about everything from validation to narcissism; it sort of depends on the person. Maybe I’m reading too far into Dissolve’s imaginary game, but I find it interesting that we don’t really see what happens if you “win” it — the same way there doesn’t ultimately seem to be a point to “winning” the real-life game of social media. So let’s just take a moment every so often to remind ourselves that while social media is fun, our self-worth isn’t actually dependent on how many followers we have.

Here’s the general gist of “Likehunter” in four simple steps; scroll down to watch the whole video, and head on over to Dissolve’s website for more.

Step 1: Choose Your Character

Is your digital self a dad blogger like Mike? A trendy teen like Lydia? A dudebro like Brady? You can be whoever you want to be, as long as you’re one of eight social media stereotypes.

Step 2: Gain Likes and Followers

This can be done in any number of ways and comprises the bulk of the gameplay. Here, we see Brady take pictures while riding some kind of dune buggy thing, which he then uploads to his various profiles — kind of like the dudebro version of Pokemon Snap.

You can also do things like “follow GPS markers to share your rad route.” Whatever that means. When you level up, you gain followers.

You also have to maintain your popularity. “Jerk moves,” like falling off your snowboard, will cause you to lose followers. Brady lost five of them for this little debacle.

And don’t forget to update your status as frequently as possible.

Step 3: Switch It Up

Try different characters — what will boost your stats is different for each one. Graham the world traveler, for example, gains “likes” proportionate to the number of miles he travels.

Step 4: Go Viral

One word: Cats.

Watch the whole video below:

Images: Dissolve/Vimeo (7)