Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Games and Shoe Leather

Virtualpolitik pal Ian Bogost has announced the launch of the Georgia Tech Journalism and Games project, which seeks to provide a public forum for discussion of "the ways videogames can be used in the field of journalism, providing examples, theoretical approaches, speculative ideas, and practical advice about the past, present, and future of games and journalism."

Bogost himself has experimented with creating games for the pages of the New York Times, such as Points of Entry (about immigration) or Food Import Folly (about FDA inspections). He has argued that with the rise of online news sources, videogames can serve like political cartoons to provide editorial commentary that provides a visual argument to the reader. In the "Playing with Public Policy" panel at the Meaningful Play conference, many of the game designers present discussed how games could also provide playable simulations that illustrate how rules, regulations, or statistical conditions are manifested.

The Journalism and Games group has a very readable blog, which I have added to the Virtualpolitik blogroll, with postings from Bogost, Nick Diakopoulos, and others. It begins with a provocative essay on "Games and Transparency" and continues with interesting postings that analyze the role of crosswords, interactive information graphics, and even the new massive online social strategy game eRepublik in the news lanscape.

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