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News as games: immoral or the future of interactive journalism?

category international | miscellaneous | other press author Friday January 11, 2013 16:04author by lefty Report this post to the editors

Interesting article in the guardian about the use of games as a tool to propagate information / analysis on news items.

Apple has just refused a game app exploring the Syrian conflict from a place in the app store.
Video games have been used as propaganda and recruitment tools for imperialism for quite a while now. We've all at this stage seen the likes of "call of duty" or Bono's game about attacking the "dictator" in Venezuela "mercenary II: world in flames" etc.
Often it's because the game makers get extensive help, military tactical information, 3D models of equipment etc if they allow the US military some control over narrative and dialogue, but nothing if they do not.

It's interesting that Apple has taken this stance on a game that simply explores a current news issue (the conflict in Syria) and presents some other possibilities other than the MSM mantra.

The game and some other "lefty" flash "newsgames" are available here:

specifically, the syria game and other political games are here:

check it out! ;-)

It's worth reading the article as it throws some interesting light on the topic of using video games as a tool in the dissemination / discussion / analysis of news. Apply your standard guardian bias filter of course! ;-)

"Games that explore political and social issues have been around since the early days of the medium – the 80s and 90s saw dozens of titles about nuclear conflict and Cold War politics with titles like Theatre Europe and Conflict: The Middle East Political Simulator.

In the late 90s, however, the arrival of web plug-ins like Flash and Shockwave soon gave rise to a new era of browser games, cheap and quick to produce, with a ready-made worldwide distribution agent: the internet. It wasn't long before designers were using these to quickly comment on and investigate real-world events.

In the mid-2000s leftwing Italian site Molleindustria started producing titles like The McDonald's Videogame and Tamatipico about corporate greed and the plight of workers. Elsewhere, game designer Gonzalo Frasca set up the site Newsgaming, producing titles about 9/11 and the 2004 Madrid bombings.

But a recent event has brought the subject of newsgames into the wider consciousness again. Earlier this week, a war simulation entitled Endgame: Syria was rejected for inclusion on the iPhone App Store. Developed over two weeks by British studio Auroch Digital, it puts players in control of the rebel forces as they pursue different military and political objectives."

Full article here:

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