After seeing the movie Nerve last year, I realized I could have approached the art direction of Instafame better. Instafame is not about the light almost hipsterish charm of the social media; it’s about the darker and more impulsive nature of teens wanting to be desired, to be adored by strangers and friends alike. And all in the context of finding out who they are as an individual.
With such big undertaking of redoing the whole look of the game, I turn to Nerve, music videos of recent teen sensation, Troye Sivan, and new TV show, Riverdale. The more I look into them, the more I was fascinated by the neon. And that inspired the following exploration.
Teenage are the years that nothing needs to be justified. Fireworks, neon lights, painterly skies, shadows cast by the backlight. Who cares if all those are deemed impractical by the rest of the world. Under the neon light, all the pains and yearnings will be understood; under the neon light, anything can happen.
Instafame does not stop at rendering the neon; it should foreshadow the danger of internet fame gone wrong, like what happened to Phil Fish, indie game developer, and Essena O’Neill, former social media personality. The main colors are reddish pink and icy blue, where the two colors balance each other and bring out a sense of youthfulness. The dark green background unsettles the balance of the title and creates a sense of mischief. Without the green, the title can read as a science fiction game.
Instafame is about the dark impulse underneath the fun and brightness of the social media posting. It’s about a teen can envisioning themself as a public figure, and hide behind the smile that they put on. No one needs to know what is happening behind the mask… until one day the mask cracks, and the story of Instafame begins.
(All reference images: https://www.pinterest.com/donxu1/teenage-blue/)