Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Impact of interactive media platforms on issues of global health within news structures and the public

What are some examples of gaming used in news narratives? What potential does this and other emergent genres have for the future of news and public engagement?
Focus: Impact of videogames/apps on issues of global public health within the news cycle 
  • Storytelling potential: interactive medium to communicate, explain, and illustrate realities presented in news cycle 
    • ex) the Editors Lab - HeartSaver (Nieman Reports) 
  • Display patterns behind the development of  biological news and stories: pandemic games 
    • ex) Plague Inc - create and foster the spread of a deadly pathogen 
    • Illustrate the spread of communicable diseases to current stories 
      • Zika Virus?
  • Interactive storytelling to actively involve audience in sequence of events 
    • "For journalists, games offer compelling storytelling possibilities. They can simulate complex systems, where different choices create different outcomes. They can create a sense of emotion and urgency in players. And they can connect people with experiences they may never have in actual life." (Nieman Reports) 
  • Raise awareness to neglected issues: powerful tool for those that participate in the media but aren't big players (Nieman Reports) 
    • ex) Darfur is Dying: understanding reality and historical circumstances of refugees 
    • ex) Broken Cities: climate change awareness 
    • ex) Rebuilding Haiti - Rue89 : place yourself in the position of those involved, politically and individually (Montañà 2015)
      • "We wanted to make people understand one thing, which is quite simple but difficult to process: when you try to rebuild a country, you take decisions that seem good in short term. More often than not, these decisions have dreadful consequences in the long term. This is exactly the idea upon which we built the game design of Rebuilding Haiti and the exact thought we wanted people to have when playing it" - Florent Maurin, journalist and game designer of Rebuilding Haiti 
        • "When you create a game, you are designing an artificial system that mimics reality. The user can interact with the system and ask questions. Where a text is a linear discourse, the game is a non-linear discussion... you will never know how the audience will actually react and use it."
  • --> Way to involve global community with a generally short attention span
  • Combining long-form journalism with game mechanics can bring another dimension to storytelling (Montañà 2015)
  • Interactivity of online journalism and changing demographics of media professionals (Montañà 2015)
    • "Using a game format was a good idea, because our game is like a trap: we want users to take bad decisions and lose the game in order to make them think, take a step back and reflect about the real situation in Haiti. The saying “I lose, therefore I think” sums it up perfectly" - Maurin 
    • “Games are models...[t]hey represent systems within systems, so you can depict the complex machinery of the world in a complex way” -  Ian Bogost, game designer (Neiman Reports) 
  • Changing demographics of media professionals - younger ((Montañà 2015)
    • "Two or three years ago, I would have told you that newsgames are not really welcomed in newsrooms. But things are changing at a fast pace" - Maurin
  • --> "Like technology, journalism is constantly evolving. In today’s ever-changing news environment, video games may provide pockets of reflection and a deeper connection to stories that build empathy among communities" (Muñoz 2016) 

  • Fertile Ground: one woman's journey through an unwanted pregnancy - "Choose your choice" 
    • "Imagine you’ve traded lives with a young woman in South Dakota, on the cusp of an important decision. Her fate is in your hands. Change her life at the end of each chapter." 
    • Place user in reality in politically-contentious situation that they may not otherwise be involved in 
      • Given step-by-step process of situation, presented with two choices, while placed in the political and economic reality of South Dakotan woman 

What could be the potential impact of interactive media platforms on issues of public health? 
How could journalists utilize these mediums to investigate or raise awareness of an issue? 

Fusion. "Fertile Ground,"Fusion. February 25 2015. Accessed May 18 2016. 

Montañà, Paula. "Interviews:New ways of storytelling: combining classic journalism with game elements," Journalism Grants. May 25, 2015. Accessed May 18 2016.

Muñoz, Gloria. "How news organizations are using video games to enhance their storytelling," IVOH. January 27, 2016. Accessed May 18 2016. 

Nieman Reports. "Harnessing the Power of Video Games for Journalism," Nieman Storyboard. January 11, 2016. Accessed May 18 2016. 

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