Week 10 Newsgame: Case Study of “Syrian Journey”

In the past three semesters, I have learned a lot about Journalism, and I also chose “MDIA5027 Promotional Games” as an elective course. Therefore, I have a certain degree of understanding of Journalism and Serious Game. The topic of this week’s lecture is Data Journalism. In particular, I prefer to talk about “newsgame” which has been introduced by lecture video because this is the first time I hear about it and I think it is very interesting.

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This is a slide from online lecture video of Week 10, multiple definitions of newsgame have been provided by experts and scholars. In my opinion, actual cases are more helpful than the definition to help us understand what is “newsgame”.

Today, many international front-line media use newsgame as a new way to make readers be more interested in the news. For example, BBC Digital launched “Syrian Journey” when the Syrian refugee crisis swept across Europe. In the game, the identity of the player is an ordinary Syrian refugee. Players need to make a series of options, such as escape routes, and escape strategy. This newsgame is very successful in journalism industry, but it has also been questioned. Some people think that using game to show the tragic fate of refugees is not ethical and the gamification of this kind of news will reduce the seriousness of journalism. And even some people think that this game only used news about refugees to attract attention, in essence, it is just a common survival game. I don’t fully agree with these views, but I think these interesting arguments can contribute to development of newsgame.

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Picture Source:Syrian Journey: Choose your own escape route


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