During the initial protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri the mainstream media was largely absent. In their place was a large number of so called ‘citizen journalists’, average people armed usually only with a mobile phone, taking images and video which they would upload to the internet. While much of this footage was raw, on-the-scene reporting, these citizen journalists nonetheless lacked the training to present what they were seeing in an unbiased way.
When it comes to reporting, framing is everything.
This new dynamic inspired indie games creator and animator Nicky Case to create a novel method to show the power of citizen journalism. Frustrated by the poor coverage of the initial events at Ferguson, and motivated by a desire to show people how the media can ‘frame’ still photos or video to present a very biased version of events, he decided to create an interactive computer game to teach people the power of their smartphones.
The game itself involves a 2-D sidescrolling mechanic, where a citizen journalist navigates a protest situation intentionally similar to what happened at Ferguson. The player controlled character can take photos with a controllable ‘frame’, which allows them to show police or protesters in a positive or negative light.
Should your photos cater to the interests of the police, they will give you better treatment, and allow you better locations to film from, while doing the same for the protesters will earn similar privileges. In addition, through a unique game mechanic, the photos you take actually can influence the protest situation. Photos of police violence can further inflame the situation and lead to a greater level of violence and rioting, while more positive photos will result in increased calm.
Leaving aside questions on whether it is still “too soon” for a game to be made about this tragic event, it nonetheless has education as its core message. Through the course of the game, a player will learn not just about how the media can manipulate public opinion through the use of framing, but also the ideals of ‘journalistic responsibility. Who knows, maybe these sorts of games will eventually empore future citizen journalists to be both better reporters, as also to beat the mainstream media at their own game.
Your Dog Can Now Upload Its Selfies On Social Media
Facebook Takes You To Another Reality
Steam Taking Sales by Storm...From Amazon
8 Recent Mobile Games To Play Today!
20 Best Novelty Gifts For Christmas
How To Jailbreak Your iOS 9
Is Apple Against Peace?
How Much Would You Pay For Secure Communications?
Is This The World's Most Secure Phone?
You Guys, Teleportation Is Real!
Amazon Prime Day
Amazon Prime Day 2018: How to choose the best deals
The easiest way to fix an iPhone stuck in recovery mode without data loss
How are Canadians using mobile devices to relax?
The gaming apps dominating the market in Canada