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Editorial Games are a viable business April 5, 2008

Posted by Robert Rich in symposium.
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Video games can be an example of “simulation meets political cartoons,” Ian Bogost , associate professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and founding partner of Persuasive Games said.

“It’s the intersection of something we already know with something that’s relatively new,” Bogost said.

Bogost talked about a number of games that his company has created for numerous outlets, including The New York Times and CNN.

It was difficult for Persuasive Games to mix the journalistic aspects due to a lack of interest by the New York Times.

“They paid out our contract, but basically they just had cold feet,” Bogost said. “Plus things were getting delayed and by the time they came out it was no longer timely.”

Some of the games Bogost mentioned included:

For Shockwave
– Oil God (a game in which the user tries to raise gas prices in certain countries by cutting off supplies, creating wars, etc.)
– Bacteria Salad (referencing the spinach/e. coli situation)
– Extreme Christmas Shopping
– Airport security game (created after the liquid ban of 2006; you can make people take off their pants, and things like pressurized cheese, hummus and penis pumps are banned)

For The New York Times
– Steroids and Baseball
– Campaign Finance
– Gun Laws
– The cult of Apple

For CNN
– Pong-esque game about the election

“The most important thing to realize is that editorial games are a viable business model with an upside,” Bogost said.

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