Determine Fake News With the ‘Bad News’ Web Video Game

Illustration for article titled Identify Fake News With the 'Bad News' Web Game

Last year we informed you about Bad News, a web game that teaches you about false information by putting you in the function of a trolling media magnate. Now, the game’s creators have proof that the game works as a “vaccine” versus misinformation— and they have actually developed a streamlined version for kids.

I played through Bad News for the very first time today. It’s basic– you just get to pick between a couple of options at each action, and it only takes a couple of minutes to survive the entire video game– however it’s based upon a very wise premise. Rather of being informed how to find false information, you carry out methods to develop it.

I started by selecting a name for my media outlet, Honest Fact Online. Then the video game directed me through faux-tweeting interest feeling, credible conspiracy theories, and attacks on people who tried to expose me. At the start and end of the game, you have an alternative to take a short test, ranking the reliability of a handful of in-game tweets.

At the beginning, I was doubtful: a lot of these tweets and headlines could be true; how was I to understand? By the end, I was clicking “undependable” for most of them, given that they clearly used a few of the techniques I ‘d been using in the video game: impersonation, interest emotion, polarizing an issue, and more. So, I think you might state it worked.

That’s how most individuals responded, according to a study published this week authored by the video game’s creators The in-game tweets meant to mimic real news had similar reliability ratings whether players saw them prior to or after the game, but the ones indicated to be manipulative got lower ratings after individuals played. Simply put, the game appears to work.

The game is now readily available in more languages, and there’s also a kids’ variation, meant for ages eight to10 I asked my nine-year-old to play, and the game put him in charge of an imaginary school website. At the video game’s advising, he spread a lie that the school was going to bring puppies to class, and he fanned the flames of a report about a computer game restriction. It didn’t shock him that individuals might lie, he informed me later, however he never actually considered it in terms of controling crowds of people for enjoyable and profit. Here’s hoping he uses that knowledge for excellent and not for evil.

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Angie Ronson

Angie Ronson is Editor-in-Chief at THRS. She covers the transformative impact of new technology on all sectors.