A prominent model of loneliness suggests that its detrimental effects occur due to a regulatory feedback loop. Lonely individuals perceive the world differently from non-lonely individuals and these perceptions then influence their social behaviors and can make them feel more lonely. In short, lonely individuals interpret benign social situations as more negative, which leads to them avoiding social contact with others.
The Rookie is designed reduce loneliness in players by disrupting this regulatory feedback loop. The story of The Rookie sets up player’s expectations about what will happen, but as the players track down clues they find twists and turns that they didn’t expect—and what initially seems like a dark mystery turns out to have an upbeat ending. The subversion of expectations in the game trains players to second guess their negative interpretations of social situations in real life—encouraging them to give social interaction a chance.