Newsgaming At The Press Association


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Newsgaming At The Press Association

  1. 1. Newsgaming at the Press Association Dr Julian Kücklich, MA Media Futures Associate Knowledge Transfer Partnership University of the Arts London / The Press Association Medienforum NRW, June 11, 2008
  2. 2. The situation at the Press Association • Traditional news organisation (founded in 1868) • Declining core revenue (national and regional newspapers, UK) • Gradual increase in new revenue streams (page-ready services, ISPs) • Developing a media futures strategy (KTP, digital development) • Strengthening traditional news business by focus on core competencies (fast, fair and reliable information), while at the same time enriching data output with contextual information (geodata, historical data, metadata) in order to increase versatility and reusability of news stories
  3. 3. How does gaming technology fit in? • Gaming as a new subject area (eSports, virtual worlds) • Games technology as a new production tool (game engines) • Games technology as a new mode of delivery (newsgaming, new forms of interactive content) • Making news playable and (more) social • Simulation and news prediction
  4. 4. Gaming as a new subject area As overlap between real and virtual worlds increases, news from VWs becomes more important (e.g. social events, policies, crime, new developments and trends, sporting events, education, etc.)
  5. 5. Gaming technology for production While tools such as Google’s SketchUp already provide sophisticated, quick and easy to use 3D modelling tools, games engines and simulation games (e.g. MS Flight Simulator) can be deployed to quickly produce interactive graphics to visualize news stories in which spatial information is crucial (e.g. urban development, catastrophes, terrorism and crime, etc.)
  6. 6. Games as a new form of news delivery Games such as September 12, Pictures for Truth, Point of Entry, and Play the News are attempts to use the medium of computer games to transport a political message. While these games are often heavily biased, they can still serve as an instrument of comment and analysis, as well as news prediction. Newsgames have been implemented by both the New York Times and CNN, and are expected to be featured on more and more news sites.
  7. 7. Making news playable and social Both Newsvine and Knewsroom are attempts to make news more playable by involving users in a game of news prediction. The Knewsroom model, where users invest in stories which they think will be in tomorrow’s headlines is particularly interesting, as it uses a classic “wisdom of the crowd” technique to predict what will be relevant to users. It remains to be seen whether this model can be deployed to predict news beyond the 24-hour news cycle.
  8. 8. Simulation and news prediction Both classic simulation games such as SimCity and multitudinal simulations such as World of Warcraft can be used to make predictions about developments in the real world (e.g. urban development, epidemology). However, in most cases the simulations are too crude to supply reliable data and need to be contextualised by expertise from other sources.
  9. 9. Conclusion • Newsgaming is still in its infancy, and needs to be developed • Newsgaming mainly reaches a young, tech-savvy audience, but as gaming literacy spreads, newsgaming will go mainstream • Currently, US media leads, more European cooperation needed • Games technology is a useful tool for rapid visualization as well as comment and analysis • However, newsgaming will only come into its own by involving users on a massive scale, and using their expertise and knowledge to both create new stories and predict the development of news stories (Massively multiplayer news prediction games, MMNPGs)