Monday, April 11, 2011

Tell me wise retirees...should Fox or CNN embrace "newsgames"?

      I need the opinion of people that have lived long enough to understand the news.  Tell me what you think. Are we becoming to simple and fun loving that everything must be a game?
      I noticed an article on yesterday I thought you might find interesting. The title was "War, What is it good for? [if you know the answer you get] Three Points". The article was about a movement to make the news more fun and entertaining. Have you ever heard of "newgames"? That would be a way of learning about the news by playing a game.  Imagine news made more exciting for those people that...well...don't like to watch the news. It seems that people are just plain too lazy to watch the news and they need to have a game so they can comprehend what is going on. The writer of the article used the example of that period of time during the 1980's when our government dilly dallied over the budget and our government nearly shut down. I was a young mother then.  I remember. He was very young and just didn't care.  He was very surprised to find out that it had even happened.  He found out last week.  If there had been a game...well who knows. The website called News Games Brain Storming described newsgames like this:
Playing the news is an idea that is taking on many different forms.  Casual games like the iPhone app “Guess the News” to role playing games like “Homeland Guantanamo” are using news content to create game experiences. News organizations are experimenting with using game interactions to explain complex issues like budgets and redistricting. They are also trying to find ways to make an addictive game experience generate repeat visits to sites.
     So it seems that games played by the audience could help people understand how our national budget is created.  I want to laugh out loud. But I suppose if people were as involved with a game like the war video games they would learn something.  I know my family likes the SIM sames.  Anyway I was watching CNN this morning, or was the HLN?  The commentator told about three people that were struggling for one reason or another...a man lost his job and discovered he was a tenor, a little boy with no arms won a hand writing contest and there was a third but I don't remember what it was. Then they asked the viewers to play a game...with these peoples lives...and vote for the one we thought was the most remarkable. I felt a little ill. It seemed wrong to me. But maybe if I were a game player I would have stuck around to find out what the vote was. That would be the purpose I suppose.
    When we watch the news it is very hard to decided who is telling the truth and then try to play the guessing game about what political party or business interest they are representing. I feel I am being gamed constantly. But if there is a game show like Jepardy that used the news as the basis maybe we would get interested and then involved, the world might be better. The author of the article in Tech Crunch let his rant go on a rant. I had to agree with him:
It was ever thus: a world divided into those with the mental capacity and attention span required to read and digest the day’s news, and to understand the importance of doing so — and  the perpetual children: the proud morons who say things like “I’m not interested in politics” (despite being mortgaged to the hilt) or ask “why should I care about stuff happening in countries thousands of miles away?” (despite those being the countries that own all the debt). Tech Crunch
Could it be that, like the government program "no child left behind", no matter how many games we play there will always be those that are never going to understand or even care? Actually, I have come to believe that those that don't have the time or the energy to stay informed by reading and cross checking facts will be the people that have the strongest opinions.  Darn. I wish there were a role playing game that would bring everyone up to speed...but somehow I don't think there is. I could have a party and invite people...why do I think no one would come. What do you think?

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