GameTheNews’ Dr. Tomas Rawlings to Hold Keynote at Europe’s First Ever Newsgames Hackathon

There’s been a new genre to emerge in 2013: Newsgame. This genre takes current news events, such as the civil war in Syria, and turns it into an interactive title that captures people’s attention and encourages them to learn more about the issues going on in the world today. It’s made news when GameTheNews’ own Endgame:Syria was banned from Apple back in early 2013 for ‘targeting a specific race, culture, a real government or corporation, or any other real entity‘. Luckily, it was able to get approved but it was at the expense of turning it from a newsgame to a regular game with no mention of the civil war in Syria.

In hopes to help the newsgame genre to flourish, the independent game studio, the Good Evil, and the Cologne Game Lab are putting together the first ever Newsgames Hackathon later this year in Cologne, Germany. Marcus Bösch, German journalist and co-founder of the Good Evil, remarked:

“In a clear distinction to classical linear approaches Newsgames allow the interactive experience of content and are very well suited to explain systems.”

Bösch has spent many years exploring the genre and giving a number of workshops, talks, and media appearances on the topic. He also designed PRISM – The Game, Germany’s first newsgame, with his game studio and Arte Future as the publisher.

With the Newsgames Hackathon, the Good Evil and Cologne Game Lab want to get journalists, game designers, and programmers together on May 6th and 7th. Dr. Tomas Rawlings from GameTheNews will be holding a keynote at the event. He comments:

“We see newsgames as a means of talking to gamers about the world around them in a language they understand. Games as a form has expanded and we’re seeing them being put to use for everything from curing
cancer to teaching maths. When it comes to news and current affairs we’re right at the start of an exciting journey.”

Attendance for the event is free and participants from Austria and Switzerland can apply for a scholarship that will cover travel expenses and hotel expenses courtesy of Neue Zürcher Zeitung and the Forum Journalismus und Medien in Vienna.

[Source: Newsgames Hackathon]

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