Videogames as journalism

Can videogames be journalism? A brief look at Newsgames: Journalism at Play, the new book from Ian Bogost, Simon Ferrari and Bobby Schweizer.

“Games allow us to address systems instead of stories,” Dr. Bogost said in an interview. And, in some ways, they can offer more depth. People often search for simple answers to broad topics like the Gulf oil spill or the 2008 financial crisis, but in reality both were the result of a confluence of failures and events. Games can help to convey that complexity. “In particular, they can offer this experience of how something works rather than a description of key events and players,” Dr. Bogost says.

Madden history

The story behind Madden NFL and how it became a video game dynasty (via marc). EA saved more than $35 million by reverse engineering the SEGA console, and signing a deal that guaranteed they wouldn’t give the technology to competitors.

Hawkins assembled a team to reverse engineer the console — that is, figure out a way to make EA’s games run on Sega’s hardware without its technology or approval as a way to avoid licensing fees altogether.

The game has evolved far beyond it’s modest roots, and can be somewhat daunting to play for the first time. I find the same thing when I try to sit down with one of the newer incarnations of the NHL series, compared to the console game. In the versions I played as a kid, you could pretty much just shoot, pass and check. I imagine most of the EA sports games are like that these days, drifting more towards simulation than arcade style play.