Producing interactive news games

peacemakerEngaging the news audience in complex issues is a challenge for every news organization, and that’s the idea behind a site called “Play the News.” One of their newest games is called “Peacemaker,” a game that focuses on helping people understand the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Unfortunately, many newsrooms fear they lack the time and the expertise to create interactive games.

Eric Brown runs the company that owns “Play the News;” he recently offered some suggestions on Poynter for anyone thinking about producing interactive news games.   Brown says the goal is to create a game template that can be used over and over.

We built out the framework for interactivity with the goal of trying to create these things on a daily basis. That’s the key to making news games –- something that can be turned around on deadline.

Once you have that template, Brown suggests you approach the task of building a game by asking a series of questions:

  1. What is the underlying issue that you want to explain?
  2. Who are the groups and leaders who are involved?
  3. What are the roles, moving forward?
  4. What types of actions could they possibly take?

From what he says, it sounds like Brown is hoping to turn the platform his company has developed into the kind of “plug and play” template newsrooms could use.

We’d also be interested in hearing about any other initatives aimed at making interactive news games easier to produce.   So what else is out there?