Petscop is about child abuse, child adoption, and child therapy. Please keep in mind that this series might be referencing many parts of all of these ideas at once. Not every story is grounded in one specific occurrence.
Also, this is probably about many stories having a common theme, Candice only being the primary (or even just the first) lense we see this through.
Lastly, since this series is still new, and we have very little information so far, this theory will be SUPER vague. We’ll get more specific as the series draws on.
I honestly think the adoption side is much stronger at this point, but there are definitely some hints that therapy will play a role later in the story.
1) Although Candice Newmaker appears to be one of the children, the other children seem unrelated to her story, suggesting there will be more references to other child abuse cases.
2) Paul, the narrator, is “Newmaker”. This could be a reference to Candice Newmaker… however it could also be a reference to how adopting a child makes you their “new maker As in their “new parent”… It could also be a reference to how many parents think therapy will “make their child like new again”, and how therapy can help you make a new world for yourself, through self-improvement.
3) Many of the “Pets” acquired in the game, both early on and later on, have traits are often signifiers of trama or abuse in children.
a. Fear/slow to warm up to strangers. All the pets show this in some way. They all seem afraid of Paul.
b. Amber is drawn to small enclosed spaces (her cage) and is afraid of coming out. This is a common coping mechanism for traumatized kids.
c. Interdependence/codependence. Randice and Wavey are almost unnaturally attached to each other. Wavey is “showering” Randice with attention, probably to “protect” him. This is common in siblings coming from abused situation of thrown into the adoption process.
d. The photo of Toneth and Randice, as well as Toneth’s description seem to reference art therapy. The writer (probably one of the children) talks about the picture and Toneth’s traits and goes off on a tangent about a traumatic event, in detail that you would expect from an adult. This is normal in abused children, because they have been exposed to adult situations, and think differently than other kids their age.
e. Pen can be seen as mimicking Paul, which is maybe a reference to kids becoming hyper-attached to adults who they see as “rescuers”.
f. All of these could also be interpreted as traits that an abuser might look for to make the child easier to manipulate as well. Amber is a child who is easy to isolate, Randice could be seen as a tool to manipulate and control Wavey as Randice’s “protector”. Toneth’s broken leg could be a reference to physical abuse, or a reference how some abusers keep their victims needing medical attention so they can’t escape.
g. Also, Randice being needed to catch Toneth might be a reference to how some kids can be used by abusers to draw other kids in, or how kids can be used by other therapists to help ground a kids to help them open up to treatment.
4) “Under the Newmaker Plane” could be interpreted as “Under a new home” where these kids have room to process these feelings about their abuse (and ultimately act out), or it could reference being “Under Therapy”, which the therapist starts to uncover all of these experiences from their childhood trauma.
5) The story has already explored some of the things that children may relate during therapy sessions and/or feelings and issues they may be facing.
a. Care is “abandoned” by Paul at the school, probably referencing feelings of abandonment.
i. Note: This could also be a reference to troubled children being “returned” because they were to troublesome for the parents.
b. Mike could be a reference to dealing with loss of friends or siblings to abuse.
c. The first strange event mirror room seems to be a reference to the feeling like you have to hide your true self, or about the goal of therapy which is to uncover your true self.
d. The censored blocks could be a reference to blocking out traumatic or difficult memories. They can also be a reference to the fact that Psychologists often can’t reveal sensitive information about a patient.
e. Marvin could be a reference to “fuzzy” memories, where the patient can’t quite remember what happened, or specific details about their abuser.
6) There are also clear references to abuse (Mike saying that Marvin hurts him when the playstation is on).
7) Finally, the fact that we must go “underground” for most of the content is a reference to therapy, whose goal is often to uncover memories and issues that are “under the surface”. It could also be a reference to how abuse is often hidden away “below the visible surface” of a child’s life, and how trauma that a kids is experiencing goes deep under the surface of their actions.