‘Game The News’ is a relatively new website which takes global events and expresses them as light but polished games. The games are generally underpinned by real-world situations and tell real stories. The reason for creating Game the News was to cover current events rather than just giving long retrospectives. Games offer a natural language to explore something; key element is that those events are current so no-one knows how they will play out in real life. It links to current situations instead of jingoistic gun-porn i.e. Call of Duty
Each game usually has links to important material so you can find out more about the situation of the event, by playing and immersing yourself in the game you can be a more informed player. These games allow ideas and opinions to form and mutate- good to getting you to consider situations in an immersive way.
There is a common misconception that gamers are disconnected from the world but this is not really the case, technology and world events can be linked and support each other.
According to the website:
We are the world’s first news correspondents who cover global events as games. As news breaks, we create our own twist on events in a playable form. We are gamers at heart, so we speak game fluently – we also share an interest in the real world too and so want to explore what is going on around us. We think that one way to explain news is via the international language of play, so we use games as a medium to explore issues and events: we game the news.
The website is still in beta but it is an interesting proposition as a teacher, using games as a means to immerse and engage children. When companies like Apple reject games like ‘Sweatshop’ and say games
“... aren't a place for social commentary and criticism”
then the need for websites like ‘Game The News’ and Games for Change’ become even more important.