Original Research Games and Apps
News games are a sub-genre of computer games that attempt to apply certain journalistic principles to the creation of their content. They may fall into several different categories, such as historical, investigative, simulation of real-world situations, and trivia and puzzle games. The earliest types of news games games which involved simply updating the information on a given location on a map. As game designers began to explore the format of creating a story-based game which could be played in any environment, the genre developed into an entirely new genre. Today, news games are often single player experiences, but they have been successful enough to become crossover hits between different genres.
Some news games share some common characteristics with other types of role-playing, or visual mediums. Like action games, they often involve a protagonist, an action, puzzles, fighting, or exploration. In many cases, they are set in a fictional world similar to that of journalism. In most cases, though, these games are distinctly different from traditional role-playing games, in which the player assumes the role of an agent or adventurer.
For example, one of the most popular news games for younger children is called “Up Front,” which involves playing as a news reporter. You are given a variety of tasks, such as interviewing witnesses, investigating crime scenes, writing a report, interviewing suspects, researching a crime scene, etc. in order to get the scoop of the day. In order to gain access to sources, you must complete various quests and missions, often while also performing tasks for the storyline. These mechanics are very similar to the ones used in narrative-driven games, which require players to create characters, develop relationships, solve puzzles, fight enemies, and so forth.
In contrast to traditional narrative-driven games, which feature a single linear path, news games usually contain multiple routes to follow and various paths within those routes. This allows for players to explore multiple avenues and, while doing so, immerse themselves in an exciting time and place, rather than simply moving from one location to another. “Life in a Newsroom” is a great example of this type of game. Developed by Media Molex, this original research game lets players perform a number of tasks in order to obtain the scoop and ultimately become a newsmaker in this multi-faceted title.
Furthering the theme of original research, many news games also include an instructional template message, which helps introduce players to the concept of researching newsworthy topics. Depending on the news game in question, this template message may be short, complete, or small. However, most always include some sort of information that, while not strictly necessary to complete the game, can help new players learn how to properly conduct themselves in this environment and learn the basics of how to become a journalist.
These types of games represent another important sub-genre within the world of mobile gaming, and are often a perfect solution for parents who want to provide their children with a safe, wholesome experience while still allowing them the opportunity to enjoy a fun time while learning valuable life skills. In terms of news games in this genre, the game design trend of recent years has been to include games with “fake news” elements. These news games allow users to make up news stories using a variety of tools and news announcements as their basic backdrop and then earn points and move up in the news scorecard as they make accurate and interesting claims. The goal is to make the largest number of points possible in the shortest amount of time.