Arizona State University to host news game workshop

Journalism students being taught to conceptualise news as games
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A new workshop at Arizona State university is teaching journalism students to design and build games.

As reported by ASU news, the event will help a new generation of journalists communicate complex news to readers through games.

“While journalism has long incorporated some kind of gaming into its culture with crossword puzzles, word searches and even news quizzes, the potential for games for journalism is not fully – or even partially – realised,” said director of the Cronkite School’s New Media Innovation Lab Retha Hill.

“Through news games, the user can explore complex issues such as how to balance the federal government budget, how to reconcile enhanced interrogation methods with the need to save lives during wartime or how to successfully operate a political campaign in compelling way – all while gaining a deeper understanding of the individual’s own moral code.

“While many news organizations are interested in creating news games, many journalists are not familiar with the mechanics to create a compelling game."

This isn't the only group pushing the use of news games, and there is another program at Georgia Tech advocating and pioneering their use.

Attendees will present their games to be played by other workshop-goers, and these will be used to help build a set of tools to be developed for the media industry this fall.

Director of innovations at the Center for Games & Impact Adam Ingram-Goble said the partnership between the school and games center will help address some of the key challenges facing new media journalism

“We are creating spaces to foster innovations among video game designers, journalists and educators,” he Explained.

“In these spaces we will advance the development of new practices and technologies to support media professionals in engaging their audiences, with an eye towards cultivating a more informed, passionate public."

The workshop will take place March 22, 2013 from 1pm-to-4:30pm at the ASU downtown Phoenix campus.

The event is sponsored by the New Media Innovation Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, the Center for Games & Impact, the Phoenix chapter of the Online News Association and Tempe-based gaming accessories company Evil Controllers.