BAD NEWS: The Disinformation Game

After playing the game of Bad News, I found myself reflecting on the impact that media and propaganda really has on society. This game is all about the six factors of bad news which includes, discrediting, impersonation, polarization, emotion, conspiracy and trolling. This game is really all about understanding how news sources aren’t always credible, pushing out lies, disinformation, misinformation and fake news, just to gain a larger following and to promote ideas that the mass public can believe because everyone else is believing it as well.

As a player, I noticed that I had trouble throwing away my ethical reasoning and choosing options that could help build my persona as a lying and devious news-monger. I would say that the game is more so unrealistic, as although it references some real news sources and world problems, the overall portrayal of ideas and such were irrational and rather exaggerated. I understand that that is the point of the game, to propose irrational concepts that you can choose from to determine your fate as a ‘bad news’ promoter, but I felt that some ideas and information were very out there and irrelevant that I wouldn’t even believe it if I had read it myself.

Personally, I didn’t like how the game only allowed you a few options to choose from each time. When I began playing, I thought that the ideas would expand and could lead to various other opportunities for gameplay. Every time I was given the choice between two, I found myself creating other options in my head that I thought would be better for the situation. More choices would raise my liking of this game to a great extent. When playing Bad News, I thought the inclusion of ‘bots’ to raise your follower count, credibility and pull as an influencer was definitely a portion of the game that I thought was realistic, therefore leading me to choose the option of bot promotion every time. This is because in the real world, especially on Twitter and Instagram, the follower count and the quality and quantity of responses in every aspect of media is very important to how large of an audience your information can reach and influence. 

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