A few thoughts on newsgames

Recently we had a lecture by Nick Diakopoulos who is a phd in computer science and is very focused on the development of News Games. You can read more about this guy on his website.

He showed some examples of newsgaming – both good and not so good. I noticed especially two games that I thought were very cool.

First one is Budget Hero made by National Public Radio. The game is about how to use taxpayers money in USA. That’s a good way to show how complex government budgetting is, and by playing it you can get a good sense of how it works.

The other news game that I remember is one with a little more opinion in it. The game is about bombing terrorist, and I don’t think it is possible to win this game. Everytime you bomb one terrorist you’ll end up bombing civilist as well… and that leads to more terrorist. The game is called September 12, and can be found here: http://www.newsgaming.com/games/index12.htm

As far as I could understand the experiments with newsgaming hasn’t really paid of yet. It’s very low traffic compared to “normal” news-delivering, but it’s a fascinating thought to make news more entertaining and interactive.

The problem is that development of newsgames takes a lot of time and ressources and is very hard to do on breaking news.

In my project though I think there could be some good opportunities to experiment with news-gaming. I want to build a news-site about European Union politics, and it’s a very complex institution, but if you could make it more understandable and entertaining by a newsgame that would be awesome.

It isn’t on top of my to-do-list because of the high expenses, but certainly it would be funny to play with in the future.

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