<firstimage=”//static.makeuseof.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/news-intro.jpg” />Tucked away in the smorgasbord of online games is a genre called news games. Yes, you read it right. News games take any past or present global happening and turn into an interactive game. Newspapers and television inform and educate; so do games. Come to think of it, if news and games come together, they can really make us appreciate how events are panning out around the world.
Free news based online games are also important educational tools. We have seen how history can be spiced up with interactivity. The same holds true for teaching kids about current affairs and world events through a fun tool like news games.
The games may not reflect news as it is happening right now, but they are still fun to play. You can relive an alternate reality and again understand a bit of why an event became newsworthy in the first place. Here are seven news games for you to try out right now.
The name of this online Flash based game site reveals the purpose. We know that Hillary didn’t make it to the grand throne of the Presidency, but you can still help her along her campaign by collecting points as she marks her campaign trail. This game is really simple and in the genre of what we call ‘time-wasters’. All games are arranged under heads like – Politics, Business, Sports & Entertainment, and World. You can turn to a shooter game likeand win brownie points for world peace.
The news gaming site has only two games on its roster but they are worth a few clicks of the mouse. Play MADRID reflects the attacks in Madrid on March 11th, 2004. September 12th. It’s a simple game that pays homage to the victims. September 12th is the other game – a game without a result – that is simply a simulation on urban terror and the civilian casualties that it inflicts. You have to pick out and shoot the terrorists who are moving around a crowded city sprawl.
Darfur is Dying is a viral video game that was released in 2006. The very popular game promotes change and action for the benefit of the 2.5 million refugees in the Darfur region of Sudan. Players role-play a Darfurian refugee who must survive and keep the refugee camp functioning in the face of attacks by Janjaweed militias. Players also can understand the genocide in Darfur that had taken more than five million lives before the cease fire was signed. The Darfur genocide may have slackened off, but there are similar conflicts brewing around the world. The game gives a glimpse into history and encourages critical thinking.
This game on American unemployment remains topical, because joblessness continues under Obama’s presidency. Get a peek into what it really means and how prepared are you for the daily costs of living when you get the pink slip through this excellently designed game. I won’t go into the details of it because Angela did a great review as recently as three months back. Read up on – SPENT – An Online Game Designed To See If You Can Avoid Homelessness. As she recommends – I’d personally love to see high school students playing this before they leave home, go to college, get jobs and try to manage their own financial lives. It could prevent a few bad decisions along the way.
If you are for free journalism then you will like this darkly satirical game about the attacks on Wikileaks. It’s a role-playing game and you play the spy tasked with the mission of retrieving leaked documents and biometric data among other things from a Wikileaks employee’s apartment. The game is like a treasure hunt where you have to click on every object and find clues. You are also up against a clock (timed at 999 seconds).
Let’s continue with Wikileaks and its socio-political impact with this slightly offbeat game that is an interactive version of the essay “Conspiracy as Governance” by Julian Assange. It’s difficult to understand at first, but gradually you can make out that the red dots on the world map are cities and your goal is to create a network interconnecting all these cities in a limited amount of time. Basically, you are connecting the dots and rendering the idea of conspiratorial interactions among the political elite on the map. The backdrop of the game is the essay by Assange and it is also interspersed with Wikileaks news items which you can pause to read.
This game is embedded on Wired.com’s site which is traditionally not a gaming site. The theme of the game is on high sea piracy around the Gulf of Aden which continues to this day. You play for the ‘other side’ as a pirate commander who has to capture a ship and successfully negotiate a ransom. The game is nicely designed and very addictive.
As online games go, news games are definitely not news reporting but they can fall under edutainment for children which is an ever growing genre these days. For us adults it is just entertainment because we can turn to regular news channels to get the scoop. What do you think of free online news games? Do you know any more cool ones that are newsworthy?
Image Credit: Shutterstock