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Al Jazeera using gamification to spotlight Syrian cyber war

Al Jazeera using gamification to spotlight Syrian cyber war

October 4, 2016 | By Chris Kerr

International news channel Al Jazeera English wants to spotlight the realities of Syria's cyber war with new mobile web app, #Hacked: Syria's Electronic Armies

The project is an interesting example of how video games can be used to raise awareness of complex and highly political real-world issues. 

The game itself is based on Juliana Ruhfus' documentary of the same name, but presents the film's investigative journalism as a video game, giving players the task of collecting as much information as possible by contacting hackers, activists, and coders. 

Ruhfus' explained the point of #Hacked is to bring the news to a new generation who no longer wish to be passive receivers, but rather interactive consumers. 

"The gamification and interactive elements of projects like #Hacked give the user the experience of being immersed in a news story," said the documentary maker. 

"Having a specific task to complete often leads them to engage emotionally and intellectually with the topic, while they gain unique perspective on the news story we are presenting through an interactive experience."

#Hacked is available to play online right now, and although it can be played on computers, the experience has been designed with mobile devices in mind.

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