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Making a Game of the News

Soulskill posted more than 5 years ago | from the does-that-mean-you-can-win dept.

The Internet 91

As traditional news media struggles to find a new method and business model for dissemination over the internet, some are suggesting that news-related games could be an avenue worth pursuing. Rather than using such games solely as entertainment, journalists could make some of their reports more educative and interactive, allowing readers to choose which threads of a story they would like to follow. Georgia Tech is currently running a research blog to better understand how games and journalism can interact. "The point to consider here is that the two processes do not have to be mutually exclusive, and may even be complementary. Just a couple of years ago, we were wondering if the blogosphere was trivializing journalism; now, most of us, including traditional journalists, are willing to accept the fact that the two can not only live in harmony but also play off of each other. Similarly, online games could help break down complex topics, and stimulate audience interest in the more mundane ones."

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You have killed all the zombies.... (5, Funny)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636481)

You have unlocked the Wall Street Journal achievement.

You have killed all the demons... (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637001)

You have unlocked the Lawyers Weekly [] achievement.

Re:You have killed all the demons... (1)

mlscdi (1046868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637857)

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue. You will then be bailed out by the taxpayer.

> what is a grue?

The grue is a sinister, lurking presence in the dark places of the economy. Its favourite diet is bankers, but its insatiable appetite is tempered by its fear of Economic Stimulus Packages.

Sorry, couldn't resist. Zork is timeless.

Re:You have killed all the demons... (1)

fractoid (1076465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27641967)

I was going to say that usually, when there's a highschool shooting or something it's invariably linked to someone involved playing Counterstrike for hours on end. And then someone makes a map of the school in question and all hell breaks loose.

But I guess it's funny if it's about lawyers.

Re:You have killed all the zombies.... (1)

Dreadneck (982170) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637257)

The story thread you have chosen has drained the batteries in your lantern and you have been plunged into darkness.

You have been eaten by a grue.

YEY! I WIN! (1)

stfvon007 (632997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640405)

I earned this achevement by using only words in Todays Wall Street Journal to get 5 words in a row in Buzzword Bingo! As a reward I have recieved a 1 week free trial of Wall street journal, as well as a coupon for 50% off a 3 month subscription! As an added bonus of one word being in a coca-cola article, I also get a 25 cent off coupon for a 2 liter of coca-cola! I can't wait to play again tomorrow!

Would you like to know more? (4, Insightful)

RobinH (124750) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636487)

Does this remind anyone of the news reels in the movie Starship Troopers where, at the end of each clip, it asked, "Would you like to know more?"

Of course, I thought hypertext filled this need years ago... Maybe I'm missing something.

Re:Would you like to know more? (4, Insightful)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637395)

I thought hypertext filled this need years ago... Maybe I'm missing something.

The traditional media doesn't seem able to use hypertext correctly.

They commit atrocious crimes against HTML by doing things like "... in bangladesh. (click here to learn more about bangladesh)" instead of hyperlinking the relevant words like they should.

Old media: We take the hyper out of text!

Re:Would you like to know more? (1)

Grail (18233) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640409)

That was the first thing that popped into my mind too! News as entertainment, would you like to know more?

Re:Would you like to know more? (1)

gapagos (1264716) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644163)

It reminded me EXACTLY of this. You're absolutely correct :-)

Re:Would you like to know more? (1)

Conficio (832978) | more than 5 years ago | (#27649135)

It's not you but the "traditional" news organizations (and the bloggers as well) missing the idea of hypertext.

Read almost any newsy article and it does not contain links. At best you get links to other stories from the same outlet. Why? Greed, and the resulting attempt to keep the reader/visitor on the site.

May be this is the business model to pursue, publish a premium version of the news that does include hypertext, to the institutions and documents (and people) mentioned, talked about or cited as sources. That is something worth paying for.

Ok, about that last bit... (2, Insightful)

storkus (179708) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636495)

...but isn't the news mundane enough and catered to the lowest common denominator as it is? I mean, even after taking in account the bias?


Bad news sells (1)

tuxgeek (872962) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636875)

Who would want to play a game where around every corner is murder and mayhem, for real?

Re:Ok, about that last bit... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27637067)

catered to the lowest common denominator, yes, that is the point ... lowest common denominator is so pre-web-2.0-long-tail.

you mean like The Drug Report? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637621)

My game is reading the Drudge Report. Except, I think of it as "The Drug Report." Let's check it out right now!

Latin american leaders (railing against the USA) are on drugs.
5 Houston children dead in swamped car, driver may have been on the cell phone (or on drugs)
Iran convicts US journalist of spying (Iran's justice system, on drugs)
Airplane passenger charged with a felony because he needed to use the restroom (Delta Airlines is on drugs, but I knew that already)
Milbank: Why is the left so angry? (cuz they're on drugs)

As you can see, some parts are clearly funnier than others, and that's the game.

4rd post!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636511)

This is news!

3D Maps? (4, Insightful)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636521)

Run around in Grozny, Ramallah or Waziristan while being shelled by the Russian, Israeli or American army!
Live and real-time, just download
I can't wait. Not that it's likely to be allowed.
It might bring home the terror that is "asymetrical" war.

Re:3D Maps? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636789)

The sad thing is, this is the type of thing they would do. Either than, or some CSI-like game where you follow the evidence to find a serial killer, or see why some depressed father killed his family then shot up his office. Hey,maybe they can do one where you are a SEAL sniper on a ship and you have to snipe a pirate before he kills a hostage! What they won't have would be the ones where you, as a US soldier, help build a school, or repair a hospital, or bring relief supplies to a small village that has been hit by a natural disaster. It would only continue the bad parts of modern journalism: the focus on death, destruction, and polarizing events.

Re:3D Maps? (3, Interesting)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637665)

It would only continue the bad parts of modern journalism: the focus on death, destruction, and polarizing events.

That's because news has shifted to "entertainment." SEAL snipers coming onto a ship at night to snipe three pirates is exiting news. Private John Doe spent the last two months building a simple one room classroom that might drastically affect the futures of kids on the other side of the world is not.

It's really sad, because the latter example has a much greater chance of saving many more people. While there was immediate risk of death to that ship captain, he was only one man. The efforts of soldiers, volunteers and others working on infrastructure in a war torn country has the potential to move that country out of a future of wars.

Re:3D Maps? (1)

BobisOnlyBob (1438553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642147) []

I think this report was the closest thing to what you're describing, even though it's just an animated slideshow of events as they occurred. It perfectly explains the series of events that led to people mistaking an innocent man for a terrorist and shooting him in the face. It doesn't excuse them, but it changes to context from excessive police brutality and paranoia into a glorious chain of fuckups and unfortunate coincidences which were either unavoidable or resolvable with more communication. A lot of uneducated people were screaming with blind rage at what happened until they saw the reports like this, explaining how it happened using not just text, but as an interactive approach.

Personally, I found that a lot of people were still angry after, but at the systems in place that enabled all the mistakes rather than the men with the guns - everyone acted appropriately for the information they had, but no-one had the information they needed.

The media have already made a joke of the news (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636541)

Here's the game: listen to the hateful shit from MSNBC, the hateful shit from FOX, and then see if you have the ability TO MAKE UP YOUR OWN FUCKING MIND AN NOT TOE ONE OF THE TWO GOV'T APPROVED METHODS OF THINKING

The real problem (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636569)

A lot of journalists know nothing about what they're reporting. The more you know about something, the more you realize how wrong the news reporters are. And if they're wrong about that, what's to say they aren't also wrong about the things you know less about?

Why Speculate ? (5, Insightful)

ciderVisor (1318765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637735)

As Michael Crichton said [] :

"Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect works as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward-reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

"In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story-and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read with renewed interest as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about far-off Palestine than it was about the story you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know."

Case in point (1)

aepervius (535155) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638721)

Science news report. But there is worst than that : intentionally misrepresenting news. Need I mention the MMR scare ? The fact also that they never correct the stuff they get bad, is also a sign that at least the direction/editorial team don't care and target for the sale only. Seeing hown often that happen even on non-yellow paper for science, you can imagine how often that happens with politic. Case in point take anything controversial and look at the news on all side of the ponds and on various continent. You have to ask yourself if they are speaking of the same stuff..

Re:The real problem (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638857)

It isn't that journalists get things completely wrong -- it's that they get them close to correct, but not close enough to draw any accurate or useful conclusions.

Then they draw conclusions, or encourage their readers to do so.

As another poster pointed out, it's the "wet streets cause rain" effect...

Re:The real problem (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27639065)

The real problem is that people don't instinctively challenge what they read/view in fancy publications or broadcasts. That's one thing blogs have going for them, people know to only accept posts as one person's opinion, which is all any mainstream news is.

Re:The real problem (1)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27644451)

Having done a fair bit of interviews and TV, this is absolutely correct in my experience. I don't trust any news story - you know it's wrong, you just don't know how.

I already have a game (4, Funny)

Quila (201335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636625)

It's called "Spot the unbiased US news source."

I haven't won yet. Anybody got some cheat codes?

Re:I already have a game (1)

slugstone (307678) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636795)

I would mod you as insightful, but I wasted all my karma.

Re:I already have a game (4, Funny)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636887)

I don't think this counts as a cheat code, but it's close to god mode in my opinion:

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart []

Re:I already have a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636945)

He said un biased. To quote John Steward - "I'll admit I'm biased. I've got my head so far up Kerry's ass I can tell you what he had for breakfast."

Re:I already have a game (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27637475)

To quote John Steward

Yes, but this is about John Stewart.

Re:I already have a game (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638153)

He said un biased. To quote John Steward - "I'll admit I'm biased. I've got my head so far up Kerry's ass I can tell you what he had for breakfast."

You're quote fails because it ...

[x] - Lacks context

[ ] - Isn't true

[ ] - Isn't funny

[x] - Lacks expression

[ ] - Is from Billy C. under oath

Seriously, Jon Stewart said that in mocking to those two idiots on Hardball. And while The Daily Show has bias, it's not a hidden bias. If one has an ounce of intelligence and takes a moments time to think about the show one will realize that it is a comedy show and should not be taken as fact. On the other hand, many shows on cable news channels are not as overt about their bias and claim to be, "Fair and Balanced" or "The Most Trusted Name in News."

Re:I already have a game (2, Interesting)

Miseph (979059) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638183)

There is no unbiased news source. At least that one admits it and even goes to the trouble of telling you what their bias is.

Meanwhile, Faux News is "Fair and Balanced" and MSNBC is just outright schizophrenic (I may not think much of the GOP's platform... but at least they can go longer than 30 seconds without changing it completely).

Re:I already have a game (1)

TheSambassador (1134253) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638943)

So John Stewart is liberal. Regardless, he calls people out on bullshit. He's an entertainer... not a reporter. It's not his fault that the right are more ridiculous.

Re:I already have a game (1)

LostCluster (625375) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637153)

Pre-9/11 slogan: "Where more Americans get their news than probably should."

Re:I already have a game (2, Funny)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637489)

Post-Cramer slogan: "Nowadays, the comedians ask the hard questions."

Re:I already have a game (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638359)

Yeah, they really took down that straw-man.

CNBC is full of ridiculous cheerleaders (Cramer is among the loudest), but they don't market themselves as meeting the "safe, long term investment advice for everyman" standard that Stewart wants to hold them to.

Anyone who spends a half hour looking into Cramer's advice will find out that he advocates for people doing their own research (his show is for ideas...) and that "Mad Money" actually refers to money that you can afford to risk trading (so it is in addition to your 401k or whatever retirement account, not for money that you are depending on for your retirement).

The best part about that whole kerfuffle was when Jon Stewart railed at a CNBC talking-head for his cheap populism.

Re:I already have a game (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640095)

If you had paid attention to the whole debacle, you'd have noticed that Jon Stewart actually pointed out that they weren't gunning for Cramer particularly - he was just the one that decided to take a stand. At which point they DID start gunning for him.

This was even pointed out when the two met face to face in that half hour interview/blitz krieg.

Re:I already have a game (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640591)

Actually, you write "Blitzkrieg" in one word. (Like pretty much anything that is one thing in German.) :)

Proof of concept: Rhabarberbarbarabarbarbarenbartbarbierbierbarbärbel. ;)

Re:I already have a game (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640771)

I did pay attention to most of it; CNBC looked really bad by the end of it. I was just pointing out that I enjoyed the irony of Stewart starting the whole thing by railing against cheap populism (he specifically said this about Santelli after his (Santelli's) shout out to traders on the floor of the CBOT) and then devolving into a situation where he characterized CNBC as not serving the little guy trying to manage his 401k (which I don't really think they would claim is what they do, or are trying to do).

The thing where Cramer talks about manipulating the market is pretty damning, but it is also pretty thin on context.

Re:I already have a game (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637383)

Really? I think they are reasonably fair, but they also clearly have a bias.

The downfall of the US news sector (1)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638241)

Yeah, but the Daily Show is more honest about their own bias than, say, Fox News. They acknowledge their own bias and use it as a material for more jokes.

You know that things are in a pretty shitty state of affairs, when the news channels seem to care less about journalistic ethics than a ****ing comedy show on a comedy cable channel.

A lot of US TV news is now humiliatingly bad. And it's syndicated abroad. It broadcasts to the world an image of Americans as dumb, and arrogant, and shallow, and ethically bankrupt, and lacking basic professional competence.

If you're old enough to remember when the old communist Soviet news agency TASS was regarded internationally as an object of ridicule for their tub-thumping pro-USSR editorial line, and when Westerners people used to shake their heads pityingly at the idea that the poor deluded Russians watched this crap and perhaps believed it ... well, since around 9-11 time, that's pretty much how the outside world has started to regard US news media - as being so far out of touch with reality that it made the originating country look like fools. It's become a national embarrassment.

The US news media is supposed to be one of the jewels in the crown of the US democratic system, with its independent journalists tirelessly working to reveal the truth and keep US society honest. It's supposed to act as the reality-check to whatever the politicians and interest-groups are currently peddling, and it's supposed to blow the whistle on political corruption or anything that appears to be undermining US democracy or the US Constitution.

But during the Bush years, some major news sources were competing so strongly with each other to see who could be more patriotic and more pro-government that you guys might as well have been living in Soviet Russia.

Re:I already have a game (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637347)

There is no such thing as unbiased. This is because bias is 1. relative and 2. a physical must. Unbiased is like ungravitational, or unpositioned. It's impossible in this reality.
So what you mean is: A news source that fits into your reality.

This is no bad or good thing. It's just how it is.
And the sooner you allow this thought into your brain, the sooner you will be able to use any source of information, no matter where their bias is. Because then you can add an inverse filter, and get out all useful data that is in there for you. Even with Fox News. (Of course much less, but still some. ^^)

The question is: Does this comment fit into your reality? Because if not, then you can't accept it, and it becomes useless. ^^

Re:I already have a game (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637693)

There is no such thing as unbiased.

This is no bad or good thing. It's just how it is.

I think you just directly contradicted yourself right here. Now, I agree that there is no news source that is out there that is unbiased, and that it is practically (if not actually) impossible to create an unbiased news source. It would require the news anchor to tell everything that happened that day, and I mean everything because if one omits something then one's bias shows that event didn't matter.

I mean a news source that doesn't spin (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637737)

Take the recent tea party protests. Fox was absolutely glowing and promoting them. CNN had a reporter arguing with a protester, trying to prove his reason for protest was baseless. Olbermann on MSNBC was calling them "teabaggers" in a derogatory sense in reference to the sexual practice.

I didn't see one instance of reporting that just laid out the facts. The editorial column has now expanded to be the entire newspaper, the network pushes a political ideology instead of just reporting.

Re:I mean a news source that doesn't spin (4, Insightful)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637863)

To be fair, Olbermann runs a political commentary show, similar to O'Reilly. I have no problem with those two (other than personal distaste for their views and methods) but they have no obligation to present an unbiased view of the news because they are, in fact, entertainment shows as opposed to news broadcasts.

On the other hand, the news casts on those channels need to clean themselves up of their political views. If you claim to be a news broadcaster then you shouldn't act like a political commentator. And people in general need to stop treating political commentary like news. Too many people have told me that they heard O'Reilly say something so it must be true. Smarten up folks.

Re:I already have a game (1)

dontmakemethink (1186169) | more than 5 years ago | (#27639113)

There's a cheat on PBS that filters out all the Fox bias: NPR

NPR is not a filter (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27640437)

It is a somewhat liberal counter to Fox's right-leaning. Why we need yet another counter, I don't know, with CNN, NBC, CBS and MSNBC being firmly on the left.

But NPR is probably the closest thing to neutral we get, the evidence being that partisans on both sides complain about it working for the other.

Weather Network. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27642177)

Do I win anything?

I thought of one better (1)

Quila (201335) | more than 5 years ago | (#27654431)

I haven't listened to it lately, but BBC World News was pretty good in the 90s.

Oregon Trail... Campaign Trail? (5, Funny)

Misch (158807) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636649)

Your cabinet died of dysentery.

Would you like to play again?

Gaming the News (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636655)

It seems to me that the largest current problem with "the news" is quality. How is increasing the cost of presentation in the absence of improved investigation and analysis going to improve the quality of what is presented? This seems like yet another hopeful stab at using technology for the sake of technology with little or no regard to determining whether it is an appropriate question. News is information. If you want to understand how to improve the presentation of information, look up Edward Tufte [] , his work, his books and his curriculum vitae.

Rupert Murdoch & his ilk at the Tele-Virus Networks took this attitude to it's logical extreme. They played the game of ---> let's see how little we can invest in reporting and credible presentation of fact-based analysis and how much we can squeeze out of sponsors who care more about eyeballs than brain cells.

They won, we lost... (long live Walter Cronkite).

Re:Gaming the News (1)

Lorien_the_first_one (1178397) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637087)

You have noticed the "hole" in the newspaper. The hole is not where the ads are, it's where the news should be but it isn't. And since advertisers pay for the vast majority of the costs of the newspaper, they determine the content.

When consumers dictate the content of the newspapers, then we will have real news because consumers will want real news. That could mean we'd have to pay for access. The problem is that the monied interests have far more concentrated capital to use to exert control over the media than a large group of disorganized consumers.

You might want to go here [] for real news.

Re:Gaming the News (4, Interesting)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 5 years ago | (#27639135)

With Murdoch's News International, the concept of "sponsor" is extended to include politicians.

Murdoch has extensive corporate interests, some of which can be beneficially or adversely affected by legislation. So what he does is present himself and his network as "kingmaker". Before an election, he meets up with major candidates or major party officials and says: "I have a shopping list of political issues that I personally feel are important, such as the absence of international regulation on financial transfers. If you can impress me with your candidate's commitment to these issues, then I can deliver X million votes to your party by letting all my editors know, unambiguously, that I personally favour your candidate. Those editors will then slant the news to favour your candidate. They're my editors, I appoint them and sack them, and they know from my past actions that if they go against a stated preference of mine, they'll be replaced."

So basically, Murdoch uses his news organisation as leverage to get himself and his organisation tax breaks, or exemption from certain investigations. In the UK he was shameless about his claimed ability to swing elections in the direction that he decided: when Labour got in, his "Sun" newspaper ran a large headline that read something like "It was the Sun wot won it", the message to politicians being, "I can make you or break you via my news media depending on how nice you are to me".

If McCain had won, Murdoch would now be telling the Republican Party that it was his news network that had delivered them the election, and that they owed him and News International some major favours (and would have to continue being extra-nice to him if they wanted to win again in four years time).

He figured that since the Republican Party had a structure that made it more easy to negotiate with than the Democrats, he'd have his news media head down the right-wing route and back the Republican candidates and their policies, ans a way to ingratiate himself with one of the two major parties. He'd also found from the UK newspaper market that it's comparatively easy to establish a loyal readership by whipping up nationalistic anti-foreigner fervour, and playing the patriot card (despite the fact that he himself was actually Australian rather than British at that point).

As the long-time owner of a complex international web of financial structures that are partly designed to minimise or avoid tax by shunting profits around the globe, and as someone whose network has in the past sometimes been suspected of actually being technically insolvent, Murdoch is fiercely against many forms of international financial regulations (especially those involving making life more difficult for tax havens or requiring full disclosure of interests for corporations like News International). So playing the xenophobia card in each country that he operates in is also useful as a way of discouraging the local politicians from adopting, say, EU or other international guidelines on financial regulation of multinational companies. His media feed the local populations with stories encouraging their viewers and readers to resist any form of international meddling from "them outside", telling "us" what to do (unless of course, it's copyright or IP law).

So I'm afraid that at least part of the US news media's current shiteness is actually due to deliberate biases being imposed upon parts of it, not for honest internal political reasons, but as part of the Murdoch financial/political gameplan. He's worked out how to "game" Western countries' political systems. There's a safeguard in US media law that's supposed to to prevent this sort of outside influence by foreigners, and that's part of why Murdoch had to become a naturalised US citizen when he wanted to expand his network inside the US.

Re:Gaming the News (1)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 5 years ago | (#27657371)

Quite frankly that all comes off as a lefty paranoid rant fit for Daily Kos. I don't suppose you can substantiate any of it, can you?

Re:Gaming the News (1)

DNS-and-BIND (461968) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642279)

So hold on - Murdoch has biased the news, and Walter Cronkite and his ilk were paragons of truth and virtue? Oh come on - Cronkite was the very template for the biased journalist. He very famously declared the Tet Offensive (a decisive victory) as a defeat. And it was, for no other reason than it was on the news every night.

Re:Gaming the News. Quality (1)

Breez911 (1237232) | more than 5 years ago | (#27650693)

I learned in writing school, never attempt to write about anything you do not know; for you will never make sense. I also learned; there are only seven strings (lines of thinking): mystery; calamity; treachery; violence; love; hope; success.

Stories framed around these seven strings, have been written in: all the languages of civilization; have been acted out in: the histories of civilization; and are additionally acted out by: individuals; groups; communities, in daily life throughout all living things on the planet. One day while reading the King James version of the mythologies; I found this:

And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. [Daniel 12:2-3-4.]

Nothing new has happened on planet earth since Daniel; same old stories, just new back grounds: cops and robbers: western stile on horse back; eastern stile in automobiles, but still the the same old stories. Be it alien invasion; Judaic Christian colonization; even in our technology, the mighty computer; gets virus invasion.

So please do not complain about news reporters, being repetitive in their writings; it's old hat writing the same thing over; and over, and trying to make it sound different! You might as well ask the generals to use different strategies; or politicians to stop funding wars!

didn't RTA, but assume they aren't referring to.. (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636667)

- every time McCain says "My friends", the GOP voter chugs

- every time Obama says "Let me be clear", the Dem voter chugs

- double each time Palin unleashes a chain of non-sequitors

- double each time Biden refers to a conversation he'd had that sounds suspiciously like something made up

Re:didn't RTA, but assume they aren't referring to (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637885)

- double each time Biden refers to a conversation he'd had that sounds suspiciously like something made up

You're trying to tell me that conversation the Billy B. had with Joey Denko at the gas station wasn't true. Is it too late to change my vote.

Re:didn't RTA, but assume they aren't referring to (1)

iiiears (987462) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638747)

This made me laugh. My keyboard is coffee soaked now. McCain and Palin have made many personal sacrifices to support public policy. - you have to admire them for that at least. Adding interaction nearly always helps with understanding. The problem right now is that news stories appear quickly and often as not fade quickly. There are several universities developing software to extract angular information from normal photographs and patch that together into a 3D model. This should allow much faster development. So very soon when Obama wins the Nobel Prize, or Steve Jobs unveils the next iPod, You can view the event from any angle. Pity the next starlet that forgets her underwear when this technology becomes the norm.

"Trivializing journalism" (5, Insightful)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636681)

Oh please.

As if the profession weren't largely "trivial" enough.

A Journalist is essentially this: a person with no education on a topic whatsoever and who likely already possesses an opinion of it is supposed to go out and write an informed, accurate, and neutral (or objective, whatever the standard is now) article on it for all the world to read.

To say that "journalists" screw this up more often than not would be far too kind. Ever read a science article written by a "journalist"? I mean, how many miracle AIDS cures have journalists written about, all hoping to get the big scope, with nothing at all behind them? How often do run of the mill journalists get tech news even remotely right? As a law student, every time I hear a journalist covering any legal news I groan deep inside because the odds are quite strong that at least half of the time they will get things wrong. And heaven help them if they ever, ever have to quote a statistic or challenge a claim of a remotely scientific nature.

It shouldn't surprise anyone that this is the case - journalism school is little more than half of an English degree with a few "ethics" and "media" classes thrown in. People don't make fun of Communications majors for nothing. How about a basic class on statistics so they could actually, you know, challenge someone on things like sample size or ask if an economic indicator is quarterly or annual? A basic introduction to jurisprudence so a reporter working in the legal field actually knows about procedure and the function of appellate courts?

Journalists want to be the conduit of information to the world, and for a long time they were simply because real, qualified experts weren't easily accessible. Now, if I want to read up on legal news, I'll read the blogs of a few law professors, who are often kind enough to point to other blogs holding different viewpoints. If scientific news interest me, I'll look to blogs by experts in a field for more information. And if I want to know about politics, I'll look to bloggers in general. That there is a bias in their reporting doesn't bother me one bit - most are entirely open about their bias, and finding the other side(s) of the argument is a trivial task. Journalists, on the other hand, retain or attempt to retain a false, ridiculous "neutrality" - a bizarre, mostly American, concept in a world where most major papers freely admit to their slant.

Now there are some great journalists out there, don't get me wrong. But good reporting is the exception, not the rule.

Journalism was a trivial affair long before bloggers came on the scene, and journalists have only themselves to blame.

Re:"Trivializing journalism" (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636697)


Proofreading is my friend.

And I have neglected my friend...

Scope = scoop... and... yeah, there's a lot in there.

My bad.

Re:"Trivializing journalism" (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636809)

Right On!

I've been mulling the state of "journalism" for years. When I worked in the aviation industry, I laughed when a so-called journalist covered a story about an 'event' deemed worthy of coverage by some editor who went the time-worn maxim, if it bleeds it leads, and sent some bonehead to the scene to get, "Just the facts, Ma'am."

Most of these people wouldn't know an empennage from an expletive. They were lucky of they got the tail number of the plane written down and reported correctly, let alone any of the details, and what did it matter anyway? The NTSB takes an average of 1 year to release a conclusion regarding cause of crash, which, more often than not is pilot error.

If you want to make a game out of the news, let's start with a framework that would reward people for fact checking and critical thinking. Is the story factually correct, can I verify the sources, and is there any meaningful analysis offered that helps me understand the world around me and become a better participant or citizen? Why am I presented with this story and not something else? Where's the meat?!

I do not agree with the blame game as leveled by ChePibe. I believe that, "The Fish Rots from the Head." I'd love it if someone could explain the 'ethics' of editors and publishers who hide behind their position of power and spreading lies and deceit. Particularly when they are bashing scientists from the editorial page of some financial fish-wrap like the IBD. Journalists are minions; they do the bidding of their employers. Some of them are well suited to the task, others have more to offer if given the chance, but it's still a position of subordinance.

Games are for kids... Silly Rabbit.

Re:"Trivializing journalism" (1)

WCguru42 (1268530) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637933)

A Journalist is essentially this: a person with no education on a topic whatsoever and who likely already possesses an opinion of it is supposed to go out and write an informed, accurate, and neutral (or objective, whatever the standard is now) article on it for all the world to read.

Interesting point, maybe journalists should be more like lawyers (gasp, but I'm serious, at least like some lawyers). I have no idea what number of lawyers actually do this, but I know some people that majored in chemistry, physics, biology, various engineering fields, economics, etc. as undergrads and then went on to law school. They will get all the education from law school regarding what is required of them as lawyers, but they also have a fair bit of knowledge on their particular field of undergraduate studies. This could be applied to journalists. You could get your undergraduate degree in some field, say electrical engineering. Then spend some time (maybe only a year) in journalism school and you'd be able to report with much more authority and knowledge of what questions to ask on topics such as expansion of the US power grid, CFL use, etc. Now, this would greatly increase the costs to news networks of employing a journalist so I don't see this happening anytime soon, but it'd be an interesting approach.

And no, I don't think that this would get rid of bias. As a power engineer I'm biased to investment and research in power systems, but my bias is fairly obvious based on my field of study. And as a fairly well rounded individual I'm not violently opposed to discussing investment in other sectors, but it takes me a little longer to see the benefits from investment outside my field of expertise.

Re:"Trivializing journalism" (1)

swell (195815) | more than 5 years ago | (#27639683)

Government supervision of news will keep it clean and pure.

Let's waste no energy with celebrity interviews, minor traffic incidents, fake news that actually promotes some business, PR announcements from politicians, etc. The government can be trusted to give us the straight scoop- news that matters, news we can use to build a stronger country.

Not only is existing 'news' trivial, but redundant. In the US, every TV network & newspaper repeats the same news feed. Only the names of the newsreaders are changed to protect the anonymous reporter who originated the story. A real crowd pleasing story will be updated for additional days with interviews of victims & witnesses & people with interesting opinions. How does this help us to be responsible citizens?

Only PBS & BBC consistently bring us useful news broadcasts in the US. CNN (cable TV) can be good and MSNBC on occasion. Among newspapers the Christian Science Monitor is well trusted. Some freedom from commercial pressure seems to be critical to getting real news to the public. These outlets could do even more with better funding.

The indications are that government financed and managed media will give us a better picture of events both local and worldwide while minimizing distractions like pro sports and celebrity gossip.

"Pure"? (1)

ChePibe (882378) | more than 5 years ago | (#27639969)

Government supervision of news will keep it clean and pure.

The government controlling what you read, hear, and see about the world?

What could possibly go wrong?

The more things change.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636691)

What? Today's TV news isn't ALREADY a game?

Can't we just get right to the Dan "Fake But Accurate" Rather v. Glenn "Loudmouthed Twit" Beck cage match?

Childish (1)

KneelBeforeZod (1527235) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636725)

Anything beyond a historical quiz (like a Jeopardy format) is going to be childish and insulting... Unless its an 8 bit Dubya Bush Punch Out game.

online games are essential (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27636929)

they cure AIDS 'n cancer 'n homosexuality 'n all.

Re:online games are essential (1)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637429)

Well, as for AIDS and homosexuality, World of Warcraft, keeping your sons or daughters virginity for such a small price per month, surely does...

What about... (1)

jrothwell97 (968062) | more than 5 years ago | (#27636967)

Jacqui Smith: Expenses Raider?

Players could compete to claim the most on expenses (homes, fridges, televisions, diamond rings, porn, et cetera) on expenses without being caught by the News of the World.

Re:What about... (1)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637801)

Players could compete to claim the most on expenses (homes, fridges, televisions, diamond rings, porn, et cetera) on expenses without being caught by the News of the World.

Or a newspaper.

Re:What about... (1)

Anne Thwacks (531696) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637951)

How about a FPS where you are John Prescott, and have to punch the greatest possible number of Paperrazzi before being hit by a tomato/custard pie/salacious revelation.

Or even a porno game where you are a black prostitute and have to sleep with as many Conservative MPs as possible before they get elected. Read all about it []

Unbiased news sources (1)

dudeeh (877041) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637251)

I for one like to get my news from such established, objective, concise, accurate, informative establishments like /.

What's this "karma hell" you speak off?

Not interested (3, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637313)

No really. The television news services are really only interested in whose been raped/killed/imprisoned, and when it comes to foreign affairs, they show the nasty stuff more than anything.

if ten people out of thousands in a protest start to fight, or do something like break windows, *thats* what they show, and they call everyone there anarchists. Honestly, it makes me sick.

Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (2, Interesting)

rjinso (1173017) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637799)

This isn't exactly what the article seems to be proposing, but news games do already exist: []

Re:Wait Wait Don't Tell Me (1)

leftie (667677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27641619)

Ohhh... that so cute. You responded just like people listen to NPR and everything.

I can see it now (1)

metamatic (202216) | more than 5 years ago | (#27637993)

Unmask a disloyal CIA agent and win a FOX News T-shirt!

Intrade is already a game of the news (1)

darpo (5213) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638117) has been doing this for a long time. All markets are essentially games about the news, whether news of companies, sports teams, or world events.

Let's game those news! (1)

Mishotaki (957104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27638569)

News usually refer us as violent peole who use their games as simlation for mass murders... does that mean i'll be able to shoot their newscasters?


Umm. It's called trivia (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 5 years ago | (#27641101)

Current Events for 100 Alex.


European news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27641567)

Some network out there has to bring the european news where girls strip down while telling the news. Saw that once in amsterdam.

"You don't know Barack!" (1)

leftie (667677) | more than 5 years ago | (#27641611)


This business model is not as easy as people think (1)

Jia (158966) | more than 5 years ago | (#27641985)

My friends have an indie game development studio [] that's basically been doing this for years. You might have heard of them since they did a MidEast "Peace Strategy" game [] that got lots of critical acclaim.

However, just because they make great games based on real news, doesn't mean that they have an easy business model that just prints money. If you're doing traditional sales, you have to worry about piracy. And if you're trying what's popular now, free web-based games, then you're relying on almost the same advertising model that failing to keep traditional news outlets afloat.

I know that my friends' Play The News platform [] basically simplifies the process of converting news into games, but I don't know if journalists and traditional media companies are receptive to adopting this technology. In fact, late last year, they had to temporarily stop producing new content for their platform. Not exactly sure why, but I can probably get them to comment here on Slashdot if you guys are curious.

Re:This business model is not as easy as people th (1)

JorgeSchmt (905156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27648561)

One of us ImpactGamers here!

The article mentions PeaceMaker, but it doesn't mention PlayTheNews.. which seems much more relevant to the 'gaming the news' topic.

There are still a bunch of relevant games on the PlayTheNews website, so it is still worth checking out if you have not seen it yet. [] (addressing bible translations and homosexuality)
and [] (arguing if the drinking age should be lowered)
are a few of the more interesting ones.

Already in the works... (1)

stavrica (701765) | more than 5 years ago | (#27642197)

We're doing this with BattleCell [] . (Risk on Google maps for millions of players)

Slashdot Submission []

There are many variations, but the weather makes a good example. Say that you have cells in Florida. Now, suppose that the real-world Florida gets hit with a hurricane. Naturally, production rates of your cells in Florida will suffer.

Obviously, news can be applied in many ways to keep things interesting.

Logical extension (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643101)

Since Big Media already plays games with the news, is it a stretch to make the news itself into a game? Guess who the biggest loser is? Hint: not Big Media.

Already Exists/Existed - Play The News (1)

Jawdy (864553) | more than 5 years ago | (#27643177)

Back in January of this year, a cool little game closed it's doors at [] The idea was pretty simple - they present you with breaking news, or specific news stories that could have heavy bias etc, and then you guess what you think the outcome would be.

It was a cool idea, and I believe was done as a demo for the whole news-as-a-game idea, but it was really fun!

Re:Already Exists/Existed - Play The News (1)

JorgeSchmt (905156) | more than 5 years ago | (#27648235)

Back in January of this year, a cool little game closed it's doors at [] The idea was pretty simple - they present you with breaking news, or specific news stories that could have heavy bias etc, and then you guess what you think the outcome would be.

I don't know why these articles skip over PlayTheNews. It's pretty much exactly what the authors are talking about and it never gets a mention. They are not making any new games, but there are still some really interesting ones on the site to play.

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