Water Cooler Games
Water Cooler Games served as the web's primary forum for "videogames with an agenda" — coverage of the uses of video games in advertising, politics, education, and other everyday activities, outside the sphere of entertainment.

The site was maintained at watercoolergames.org from 2003-2009, where it was edited by myself and Gonzalo Frasca. It is now archived here in full.
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Play the News Game
by Ian Bogost April 3, 2008
categories: Newsgames , Political Games
ImpactGames, creators of PeaceMaker, have just soft-launched a public version of their title Play the News. new web-based news prediction game. It's a bit like fantasy sports, in that you play by predicting future performance, but instead of assembling a custom news docket, you play smaller mini-games for each story. These smaller games cover the gamut of news coverage, from politics to entertainment. Here's some of their boilerplate on the game.
Impact Games developed a web-based platform to bring interactive gaming elements to the online news media industry: "Play the News" is an engaging, community-driven experience - imagine fantasy sports meets the evening news. The "Play the News" platform is an engine to drive “Interactive News” games that change the paradigm of news consumption from passive reading to active engagement. ImpactGames' platform is flexible enough to address a range of content, and is actively seeking partners to create content and games using the easy to use web editor interface.
I played during the beta, albeit admittedly less than I'd hoped. The experience is very casual, which is surely the goal, although the concept does somewhat risk collapsing into quiz-style questions and best-guesses. That said, there is the potential for the game to change people's engagement with news both by making them think about what will happen next and by creating a natural reason to read stories one otherwise might not. This is still a soft-launch, so things may change, but you can play for free.


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