Our examiner, Andy Robertson, first checked Bad News 2 years ago. It was re-examined by Jo Robertson and updated 18 months ago.
It's a game that aims to help combat disinformation by fostering critical and well-informed news consumers. In the game you can earn a series of badges that are signs of your progress. This encourages you to use Impersonation, Emotive stories, Polarisation, Conspiracy, Discrediting and Trolling to earn prestige and follows. As you do, you see first hand the effect on your readership.
You play Bad News in your web browser. You can play a Junior version for younger players. There are information sheets that offer details, background and additional information about the game.
The game was written to be suitable for people age 14 and up. It contains some potentially emotionally charged content, such as information on a fictional plane crash, as well as existing conspiracy theories that might be considered jarring. The game does not employ violent imagery, swear words or other offensive language. However, since players are prompted to take on the role of the ‘villain’, they might experience some mild psychological discomfort about the decisions that the game pressures them into making. However, since the game takes place entirely in a virtual environment that does not affect the real online landscape, such discomfort should hopefully remain limited.
The special Junior version of Bad News is intended for children age 8-11.
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