Thursday, May 19, 2016

Should gaming and news come together to create content? Apparently not according to Apple

Should gaming and news come together to create content? Apparently not according to Apple

Key Points
1.    Using games to report news is controversial
2.    Apple rejects news related game due to political content
3.    Video games do have a lot of benefits in the news industry

·      Games that explore social and political issues have been around since the 80’s and 90’s
·   Although games in the news have been becoming more controversial. For example: Endgame: Syria was rejected by Apple and their app store.
·      Endgame puts the players in control of the rebel forces to make political and militaristic decisions
·      According to Apple, the game was rejected because the App store user guidelines “forbid games that, solely target a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation or and other real entity.” This rule makes it seem like it would be impossible for news games to make it onto the App store.
·      Tomas Rawlings aim was to “use games as a format to bring news to a new audience and a submission such as this makes it a lot harder for us.”
·      Rawlings believes on of the issues preventing games from being more popular in the news industry is the word “game” itself. He says, “It has cultural connotations of triviality.” He doesn’t want games to be seen as solely entertainment.
·      Many question whether the game actually has the power to educate players about the conflict in Syria.
·      There was some backlash about Rawlings game, one tweet read: “How to turn the death and suffering of innocent Syrians into mindless entertainment.”
·      The company is changing the game and resubmitting it for approval. Rawlings says that “we’ll have to strip some of the meaning and context from it to pass… and that is not ideal.”
·      In my opinion, Apple and game makers such as Rawlings need to have a dialogue about the future of the industry and in what ways they need to evolve.


Questions: Is gaming news effective or mindless entertainment?

Should major news outlets like the NYT or The Guardian utilize these news games? Or do they need to keep using their somewhat traditional journalism tactics?


 Dredge, S. (2013, January 08). Apple rejects Endgame: Syria iOS game. Retrieved May 19, 2016, from

Stuart, K. (2013, January 11). News as games: Immoral or the future of interactive journalism? Retrieved May 19, 2016, from  

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