terça-feira, 4 de dezembro de 2018

A brief discussion about newsgames

In contemporary times, games have undoubtedly taken a protagonist role in different areas. We can find games as educational tools, in marketing campaigns, training employees in companies or just entertaining certain audiences. Games are a powerful media and a rich platform to share meaningful messages.

Based on these thoughts, games also can be used as a platform for journalism content. It is possible to think strategically the use of games to spread news, discuss current events or critically think about one specific subject discussed in the media. This category of game can be considered what some specialists call “newsgame”.



About the use of games in this field, it is relevant to emphasize that “journalism can and will embrace new modes of thinking about news in addition to new modes of production. Rather than just tack-on a games desk or hire an occasional developer on contract, we contend that newsgames will offer valuable contributions only when they are embraced as a viable method of practicing journalism – albeit a different kind of journalism than newspapers, television, and web pages offer” (BOGOST; FERRARI; SCHWEIZER, 2010, p.10).

In the book entitled “Newsgames: journalism at play” (2010), Bogost, Ferrari and Schweizer discuss several categories of this type of game. In this post I want to highlight one of them: the “current event games”. According to these authors, this kind of newsgame aims to dwell over some fact occurring in this moment in the world using a ludic interface.

One interesting case of “current event games” that we can bring to this post is the experimental game September 12th. Created by the Uruguayan game designer and researcher Gonzalo Frasca, September 12th suggests a reflection about the day after the terrorist attacks in New York on September 11th; the interface shows a Middle-Eastern village with some terrorists with weapons and civilians and the only thing you can do is aim and shoot bombs to kill the characters. The interesting thing is: every time you kill a terrorist you also kill civilians and other civilians around – when noticing the fact – become new terrorists in an infinite cycle of death and violence (BOGOST; FERRARI; SCHWEIZER, 2010, p.11, 12 & 13).

In the video below it is possible to understand the gameplay:



Once again, games are occupying an even more relevant role in the contemporary scenario. The gaming use for news is one more aspect to reflect on how ludic languages can reach different audiences in the quotidian life. If you are interested in this gaming category, I strongly suggest the site Molle Industria to try other examples of newsgames.

#GoGamers



Reference:

BOGOST, Ian; FERRARI, Simon; SCHWEIZER, Bobby. Newsgames: journalism at play. Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2010.