This book examines the brief yet accelerated evolution of newsgames, a genre that has emerged from puzzles, quizzes, and interactives augmenting digital journalism into full-fledged immersive video games from open-world designs to virtual reality experiences.
Critics have raised questions about the credibility and ethics of transforming serious news stories of political consequence into entertainment media, and the risks of trivializing grave and catastrophic events into mere games. Dowling explores both the negatives of newsgames, and how the use of entertainment media forms and their narrative methods mainly associated with fiction can add new and potentially more powerful meaning to news than traditional formats allow. The book also explores how industrial and cultural shifts in the digital publishing industry have enabled newsgames to evolve in a manner that strengthens certain core principles of journalism, particularly advocacy on behalf of marginalized and oppressed groups.
Cutting-edge and thoughtful, The Gamification of Digital Journalism is a must-read for scholars, researchers, and practitioners interested in multimedia journalism and immersive storytelling.
Table of Contents
Introduction: The Mainstreaming of Gaming Culture and Journalism’s Ludic Turn 1. Journalism and the Politicization of Game Content 2. News Branding Through News Experiences 3. Games as Advocacy Journalism 4. Open-World Game Narratives 5. Documentary Games 6. Social Media and Mobile Gaming 7. Immersive Design: VR Journalism Conclusion: The Ultimate Empathy Machine? Games About Refugees and Migrants
David O. Dowling is an associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Iowa. The author of nine books on publishing networks and industries, his works on digital culture, technology, and the economics of media production has appeared in journals such as Convergence, Digital Journalism, Digital Humanities Quarterly, Games and Culture, Journalism & Communication Monographs, and Literary Journalism Studies.
"Bring in the (news) games! Dowling’s rigorous and enjoyable analysis of what digital technologies offer journalism and how journalism advances the potential for games is a vital read for knowing the news world today and preparing and predicting news of tomorrow. The Gamification of Digital Journalism is part cultural studies, part business analysis, and part techno science rooted in empirical analysis and expert interpretation to reveal the breadth and depth of news games in advocacy journalism, immersive storytelling, and audience engagement. Herein are tools for the future of journalism."
Robert E. Gutsche, Jr., Senior Lecturer in Critical Digital Media Practice, Lancaster University, UK
"Video games, like any other medium, can be used for journalistic purposes, and their interactive nature can help players understand the situations of others. Dowling’s book is a thorough exploration of games as journalism, examining the connections between games and politics, news, social media, and documentary."
Mark J. P. Wolf, Professor of Communication, Concordia University Wisconsin, USA