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All About Europe’s First Newsgame Hack #newsgameshack

May 16, 2014

Last week I was very honoured to be invited to take part in Europe’s first ever newsgame hack organised by Marcus Bösch of The Good Evil in Cologne, Germany. Here is how they introduced the event:

The New York Times’ most popular story of 2013 was not an article. It was aninteractive quiz. The Times They Are A-Changin. And we are pretty sure that games as the defining medium of the 21st century will also disrupt journalism pretty soon.

Come and join us for Europe’s First Newsgames Hackathon in Cologne, Germany – presented by the Good Evil and the Cologne Game Lab as a Kick-off event for the 5th international computer game conference Clash of Realities.

I was asked to give the opening keynote:

Here’s a snippit from a good write up of the event:

Newsgames have become increasingly popular in recent years. Tomas Rawlings, whose digital media and video games consultancy Auroch Digital runs the news-gaming project Game The News, explained that journalists are now not only competing with other news organisations, they’re also competing with games.

“You’re competing with Candy Crush,” Rawlings said. “You’re competing with Clash of Clans. You’re competing with every other app that the user can close and open up. So if news organisations are not making use of the interactivity of these devices, then the output they produce will become increasingly stale next to the evermore elaborate investigations.” This is why you’ll see a lot of what Rawlings calls “gamic” elements on news sites these days. From quizzes to quick, mobile-friendly games, these games draw in a significant audience.

According to Marcus Bösch, co-founder of The Good Evil and one of the hackathon’s organisers, games are a big digital medium yet to be tapped by most big news organisations. “I think people are recognising a lot has changed and we already missed the beginning of Facebook and Twitter. What comes next?

“Journalists are very keen to see what comes next. I’m pretty sure games come next and if you ask me, they are the leading medium of the 21st century. They’re used broadly in business, in medicine and science, so why not use them in journalism?”

Plus here is some good links from the event:

I also did a talk about the future of news games at the end of the event, where I suggested 7 challenges for this new medium (the first two having been met!)

Overall and amazing event, so huge thanks to Marcus & organising team plus the event sponsors!

Find Me… An image from "A satirical search and rescue game inspired by the media reaction to the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnap story. An FBI agent tries to keep media interest in the story alive to buy extra time to find the girls."

Find Me… An image from “A satirical search and rescue game inspired by the media reaction to the Nigerian schoolgirl kidnap story. An FBI agent tries to keep media interest in the story alive to buy extra time to find the girls.”

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