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article imageVideo game Misinformer aims to teach players about fake news

By Tim Sandle     Jul 26, 2019 in Internet
Spotting fake news can be challenging, and add to that there is frustration of biased reporting and the annoying distraction of 'clickbait'. To help the public to differentiate products from the media, a new game has been launched.
Fake news (or pseudo-news) has varying definitions. It is a form of propaganda that is made up entirely or partly of deliberate disinformation, often designed to alter or distort a perception or feeling, and which ostensibly portrayed as legitimate media output. Most fake news occurs via online social media. In serious cases it represents a threat to democracy (as with the fake news stories against Hilary Clinton which may have enabled Donald Trump's presidential election victory, according to The Washington Post) and it hampers free debate.
READ MORE: What is media bias and how can this be tackled?
The game, which seeks to educate the public about fake news, has been launched via Kickstarter. The game seeks to show people how journalism works and the ways that good, bad or simply part made-up stories can come into being. The game allows the user to go into the journalist's 'hot seat'.
READ MORE: Google are redesigning the News tab for improved readability
With the new game (called Misinformer), Engadget reports, the person playing takes on the role of a citizen journalist aiming to solve a conspiracy. From this premise: "You start off as a moderator for a typical dull gardening forum, but things change when a wave of political spam arrives and you have to uncover the culprit."
The game is text-based game and it is playable on a smartphone UI. Following the first case, the aim is for Misinformer to be constantly updated with new stories based on real journalism. With each new story, players will develop the skills necessary to weed out and refute fake news
On the Kickstarter page, the inventor, Jay McGregor (of the website Point), writes: "We’re building Misinformer because we want to find a new way to spot and fight misinformation, whilst finding a new way to fund investigative journalism."
READ MORE: Journalists and public figures taking Pro-Truth Pledge
The game is set to be ready by December 2019, provided it raises the required $23,027. Whether it succeeds or not, it's an important attempt to try and engage with the public and slow the tide of fake news by making more people better informed.
More about fake news, Journalism, Ethics, Video game
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