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Journalism has embraced digital media in its struggle to survive. But most online journalism just translates existing practices to the Web: stories are written and edited as they are for print; video and audio features are produced as they would be for television and radio. The authors of Newsgamespropose a new way of doing good journalism: videogames. Videogames are native to computers rather than a digitized form of prior media. Games simulate how things work by constructing interactive models; journalism as game involves more than just revisiting old forms of news production. The book describes newsgames that can persuade, inform, and titillate; make information interactive; recreate a historical event; put news content into a puzzle; teach journalism; and build a community. Wiredmagazine's game Cutthroat Capitalism, for example, explains the economics of Somali piracy by putting the player in command of a pirate ship, offering choices for hostage negotiation strategies. And Powerful Robot's game September 12thoffers a model for a short, quickly produced, and widely distributed editorial newsgame. Videogames do not offer a panacea for the ills of contemporary news organizations. But if the industry embraces them as a viable method of doing journalism-not just an occasional treat for online readers-newsgames can make a valuable contribution.
Ian Bogost is Associate Professor in the School of Literature, Communication, and Culture at the Georgia Institute of Technology and a Founding Partner at Persuasive Games LLC. He is the author of Unit Operations: An Approach to Videogame Criticism (2006) and Persuasive Games. The Expressive Power of Videogames (2007) and the coauthor (with Nick Montfort) of Racing the Beam: The Atari Video Computer System (2009), all published by the MIT Press. Simon Ferrari is a graduate student at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Bobby Sctiweizer is a PhD student at the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Table of Contents
|Current Events||p. 11|
|Journalism at Play||p. 175|
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