Cultural Milestone: New York Times to Carry Newsgames

May 25, 2007 -
Games are often in the news, but now, they are the news.

In a landmark development, Georgia Tech prof Ian Bogost, founder of Persuasive Games, announced yesterday that the New York Times will henceforth carry his company's "newsgames" as part of their editorial content:
I'm excited to announce that Persuasive Games has a new publishing relationship with The New York Times, in which they will be publishing newsgames we create on their op-ed page, as editorial content, not just as games. This is unprecedented, and... represents another important shift in videogames as a medium. This is news/editorial in videogame form, rather than videogames trying to make news fun.

The first NYT offering is Food Import Folly, a game which dramatizes the challenges faced by inspectors charged with ensuring the safety of our food supply.

At present the Persuasive Games offerings are available only to paid subscribers the newspaper's TimesSelect service.

GP: In gaming terms it's not exactly the Halo 3 launch, but in the long run the marriage of games and mainstream journalism could have a significant cultural impact. Hats off to Ian Bogost and the Persuasive Games team!
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Comments

Responding to Zoness, I see this more as a presentation of the media of music to people who have only heard descriptions of it. If this allows more people to become comfortable with games, then hooray! I used Windows Solitaire years ago to make technophobic office people comfortable with their new pc's, it demystified the whole thing for them and made it familiar. Games for many people are like that, and they will need a nice fuzzy intro to the medium. Yay for Ian Bogost and his crusade to bring games to those who are scared or ignorant of them.

"I do not, however, like the idea of a total mainstream adoption of the gaming world. It’s like listening to underground types of music, if cooperations eat them all up suddenly it becomes trashed and the audience disappears."

That's more likely to happen to individual genres in gaming just like it happens to individual genres in music. I think it could very well happen to GTA like games. All of the horrible GTA clones being released could very well, and has in my opinion, saturate the market and anger the audience.

@Merc25:

I think a more general acceptance of games (which is what I think this represents) is a good thing.

I do not, however, like the idea of a total mainstream adoption of the gaming world. It's like listening to underground types of music, if cooperations eat them all up suddenly it becomes trashed and the audience disappears. We don't want that. That is obviously an extreme situation but something I think could happen nonetheless.

Hey, very cool. Well done and congrats!

I second Jabrwock's sentiments, though. Boooo, indeed.

Wow, that is huge. The only thing I'm wondering about is mainstream saturation. Afterall, is this something that can be picked up by other news corporations or is this something that can only be specially licensed?

Either way, is it too late to award Prof. Bogost with a "Gamer of Century" award?

Serious Comment: This is indeed an impressive event. Perhaps media partnerships with videogame companies, no matter how far removed from the "industry" they are, will allow them to get a better understanding of what goes on in our world. It would be nice to see fewer news stories with a glaring ignorance of even the most basic working of the game industry.

Non-Serious Comment: What are the games for even lite VT and the Thailand shootings going to look like? Are we going to see corporate version of Super Columbine RPG?

Cultural Milestone: New York Times to Carry Newsgames...

...

Does any think there is a down side with the merger games and mainstream media?

YATTA, oy! It seems that NYTimes favors games as an emerging media! :3

JT: "It's a murder simulator disguised as news!"

Booooo, you need a Times subscription to play. And the "free demo" requires CC info. :(

Still, it's good that games are becoming more and more mainstream that they are now considered a valid form of "editorial" content...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

[...] World of Borecraft Ever since video games were invented, parents and teachers have been trying to make them boring. Any child of the 1980s and 1990s will remember Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing and Math Blaster Mystery: The Great Brain Robbery, games that promised to make skills acquisition fun. They'll also remember ditching Mavis Beacon for something with guns as soon as their parents' backs were turned. Making games educational is like dumping Velveeta on broccoli. Liberal deployment of the word blaster can't hide the fact that you're choking down something that's supposed to be good for you. With video games starting to eclipse movies in revenues and popularity, the educational-gaming movement has gone into overdrive. Industry bigwigs and civic-minded intellectuals are increasingly peddling the idea that video games can cure society's ills. There's a booming subgenre of games, like the Nintendo DS title Brain Age, that claim to stave off senility via simple puzzles and arithmetic problems. A Harper's cover story last year asked whether video games were the best way to teach kids to read. (Short answer: maybe.) There's even a D.C.-based group called the Serious Games Initiative that advocates for "a new series of policy education, exploration, and management tools utilizing state of the art computer game designs." Take that, Reader Rabbit! All of these ideas are premised on the notion that video games can and should be more than mindless fun. But all of this noodling about games' untapped potential raises some philosophical questions: When does a game stop being a game and turn into an assignment? Can a game still be called a game if it isn't any fun? The company Persuasive Games makes for an interesting case study. Persuasive has gotten a lot of press due to its recent collaboration with the New York Times on "newsgames." Persuasive's releases are essentially the Blaster series for the new millennium but geared toward adults instead of children with overprotective parents. Cartoonish and uncomplicated, with graphics reminiscent of old, 16-bit gaming systems, these games generally play like Sims expansion packs that were too boring to be released. Persuasive's first game for the Times, Food Import Folly (TimesSelect subscription required), is a rousing examination of the ins and outs of FDA import inspection. Newsgames are an interesting idea, but this one is less informative than a simple article and less fun than doing the Jumble. Food Import Folly didn't make me think long and hard about FDA policy
 
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Goth_SkunkI for one do agree with him. I always have, as a fan of both franchises. Hopefully with J.J. Abrams doing both the Star Wars AND the Star Trek films, that'll help mend this silly rift between fanbases.05/04/2015 - 9:50pm
MattsworknameWell said MR worf, well said, but I doubt the treks and the star wars fans agree05/04/2015 - 9:44pm
PHX CorpMichael Dorn tells Star Trek and Star Wars fans that both fanbases are all part of the same Scifi family https://twitter.com/akaWorf/status/59528225364038860805/04/2015 - 9:29pm
MattsworknameAmen andrew, Amen05/04/2015 - 8:51pm
Andrew Eisenand we can all hopefully march towards a brighter future without them. Or, ideally, they act like decent human being and tag along.05/04/2015 - 8:40pm
Andrew EisenWhatever term we use, we end up creating an us vs them scenario and that's not conducive to what any of us want to achieve. Simply call out the jerk faces, no matter where you find them or what hashtags they do or do not use, condemn the behavior...05/04/2015 - 8:39pm
Mattsworknamesee a wider variety of roles for females in games as a whole, and I would love to see more games that are headed by a feamle lead succedding Hell, some of my faves have always had females. I would love to see more05/04/2015 - 8:32pm
MattsworknameI thnk that using groups is the wrong term andrew like you said, but, whats the better term, sides or movments? anyway, I actually agree with some things that anita and others have said, i would love more well writter females in games, I would love to05/04/2015 - 8:30pm
MattsworknameTwitter has beccome a virtual garbage dump over the last few years, I dont blame people from filtering twitter the way it is now05/04/2015 - 8:21pm
MattsworknameYou make a good point, i keep thinking of these as groups but there more movments then groups, I guess.05/04/2015 - 8:20pm
Andrew EisenAnd I wouldn't accuse people who block others on Twitter of being unwilling to discuss their views. From what I've seen it's mostly to keep from being harassed, dog piled, avoid topics you have no interest in, or simply to keep your Twitter feed readable.05/04/2015 - 8:16pm
Andrew EisenI don't know who you think the two groups are but I've never seen anyone claim that one group has a monopoly on people who misbehave (unless you're grouping the people who misbehave, of course).05/04/2015 - 8:14pm
MattsworknameI dont disagree on the jerks sentiment Andrew, so long as all agree that both side had there fair share of jerks got inolved with this whole clusterfark.05/04/2015 - 8:10pm
Andrew EisenI speak from experience. I'm not a jerk face and I've never had a problem discussing things with a huge variety of people.05/04/2015 - 7:59pm
Andrew EisenGreat, so long as they're not jerk faces, they should have no problem.05/04/2015 - 7:58pm
Goth_SkunkOr if they have the unfortunate distinction of following certain undesirables on Twitter. i.e. Milo Yiannopolous, Roguestar, Mundane Matt, C.H. Sommers, Mark Kern, Adam Baldwin et al.05/04/2015 - 7:53pm
Andrew EisenThere's no need for anyone who's not a jerk face to admit to vile actions they didn't commit.05/04/2015 - 7:52pm
Goth_SkunkI disagree. I believe all the parties wanting discussion are on the GG side. The parties against GamerGate aren't interested in discussion, as evidenced by the propensity to simply block people on social media the moment they identify as pro-GG.05/04/2015 - 7:51pm
Andrew EisenShe used to allow comments on her videos. Blame the jerk faces that that's no longer the case.05/04/2015 - 7:49pm
Andrew EisenSarkeesian has given plenty of talks in venues where anyone is welcome to attend. It's not her fault that most of her audience supports her. That said, she HAS fielded questions from detractors.05/04/2015 - 7:49pm
 

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