For many, watching election night coverage is a game within itself. You make bets, you take informed guesses and you watch the results live on TV, similar to Fantasy Sports. This year, the ABC News iPad app takes this “meta game” one step further.
The latest update of the ABC News iPad app (iTunes link) adds a fully interactive electoral map that updates in real time. A “Results” tab will start filling in the states with colors that represent which political party won starting at 7PM the night of the elections. In addition, the app has a “What If” game tab that allows you to create your own results to see how those victories affect seats on the Senate and the House
Other social impact games have tried the same “fantasy news” aspect, or the concept of following the headlines with interactive experiences. In 2008, “Play the News” was released to create a cross between fantasy sports and the evening news. Instead of passively consuming information, Play the News made understanding the topics of the day an interactive experience. New “mini games” could be made and released almost as quick as the news was announced. It received the Knight Foundation News Game Award in our festival.
In mid-2010 Ian Bogost and Micheal Mateas won the Knight News Challenge with their intriguing concept, “The Cartoonist”. The idea takes the use of the editorial cartoon as an entry point for casual news paper readers and expands it to give the average person a chance to become an editorial cartoonist. The free tool will allow users to plug in data about the major actors in a story and The Cartoonist will generate game rules, images and gameplay based off the user’s input. The goal of this application is to increase engagement. Bogost hopes that The Cartoonist will encourage people to become more active in reporting their local news and use his application as a means to present that information in a compelling and easy to digest format.
You can find out more about Play The News here:
You can learn more about The Cartoonist on Ian’s blog: