As history shows whenever a violent or disturbing major event occurs, the general public tends to blame video games as a contributing cause. The University of Cambridge has finally put a rest to all these complaints by creating the Bad News online game, a title that is made to teach lessons about media perception to the average citizen.
Social media plays an integral role in convincing citizens to adopt a certain belief or value when considering a given issue. Recent events and surveys confirmed that a significant amount of “fake news” is being circulated online which continues to fuel misinformed or even propagandized messages.
The idea behind this new online game is to educate players on understanding what is real and what is fake. Bad News will teach players to sort between misleading headlines, inflammatory quotes, images that are made to trigger in the path they desire, and so on.
In the Bad News online game, the player takes the role of a fake news monger. With this mindset, players are prompted to forget any kind of news media ethics in an effort to achieve the ultimate goal—using every wrong route they could find to boost their story.
Players start by building a following for the fake news source they run, while also trying to avoid sharing misleading stories regularly. The main challenge of the online game is to build a news website with a maximum number of followers. But it is to be taken into account that if the fact that you are a fake monger is exposed, you will immediately lose supporters.
The team that created the new online game indicated that the ultimate mission is to introduce people to how fake news mongers work and show the way they devise titles to make fake stories seem credible.
By being on the other side of the fake news ecosystem, players of the online game can understand how misinformation is being used to influence the average citizen. In a time when two-thirds of adults get their news directly from social media, it’s common to be duped by dubious content that is masked as genuine.
It’s expected to make it easier to identify fake content on social media. The game has been designed in a simple manner so that it runs seamlessly within a browser and doesn’t require powerful PC hardware to run, unlike many other popular titles.