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Bad News: a videogame against the fake news

The fake news topic is a daily occurrence. Our Facebook and Twitter’s pages are full of them. And evey day we have to juggling between what it is real and what it isn’t. We try to be very experts detectives to understand if the news’ origin is doubtful and, sometimes, even in front of the obvious there is someone that says that some lies are true. The most conspiracy groups think that the informations are manipulated by the power so to convey our minds, but the true is that, in the age where everything it’s possible by a click, everyone, not only the powerful people, can hide itself behind a big developer of fake news. The web, born like an information’s instrument, turned into a maze of true news or completly invented ones, where it seems to be always more diffocult juggling. It is for this reason that Facebook, Twitter, Google, but even governments and politicians, promise us to find the way to face the fake news. Facebook assures us that, with the next updates, there will be more controls. Twitter reassure us that the fake news will drastically decrease. Google made an algorithm that verify the credibility of every news. But, anyway, the web is still crawling with dubth origin and truth’s news. Maybe the problem is not how to combact them, but how to know them for avoiding them.

What Bad News is?

The ducht organization Drog, in cooperation with some researchers of University of Cambridge, worked to overturn the question and understand how it is to be in the other side. It is in this way that Bad News was born, a videogame that doesn’t explain how to expose the fake news, but to create them and become the leader of the online disinformation’s sector. The game start with the first tweet, where we protest against the goverment, seeing the reactions of our hypothetical followers.

On the side we have the indicators with the number of followers and our credibility. If our words impress our fans, we can carry on the game, hiding our identity, behind a fake account. The game propose even some questions, taken from either famous newspapers or not, to which we have to give a credibility’s score. With our fake account we are still tweeting fake news, increasing our credibility and our followers’ number, advancing in the game. The next step propose us to create a web site or a blog, from there to the disinformation’s summit the step is short.

Which is the real purpose of Bad News?

Even if wearing the villain’s cloths could be intriguing and stimulating, the Bad News developers had another beliefs. The purpoise was to create a real vaccine for the mind. Understand the dynamics of the creations of the fake news will give us the superpower to unmask them. Flipping now through the pages of the principal social networks we will not find any more difficulty to recognise them. Here it is that the vaccine created in our mind the right antibodies against the disinformation. The ambitious project create a strong link between the playful aspect and the educational one, while we are force ourselves to create fake news ever more elaborated to advance in the game, our mind start to absorb the subtle shadows that differentiate a true news to a fake one. The game has even a strong feedback about the players’ awareness on which consequences can have a lie toward an easily manipulated audiance. Besides the fact to create a vaccine, it will be used as a research to improve the informatic defences against the fake news. So, while we will finish the game with thousands followers, we will ask ourselves how much this affect the real world.

This post is also available in: Italiano