Using Video Games to Train Journalists

It had to happen. In a blog about video games and journalism, here’s a story about someone using video games to train journalists . . .

Looks like they’ve modded the eminently moddable Neverwinter Nights, taking advantage of the adaptable conversation tree to make a journalism simulator. It’s all about the procedural learning . . .

As video games are, as a medium, essentially a simulation of the decision-making process, they provide a powerful tool for exploring the hypothetical implications of the player’s choices. In contrast to the typical academic model of learning, where success is measured in terms of making the correct choices, video games follow a more naturalistic method, where every mistake adds to the player’s overall sense of understanding, leading to a more nuanced grasp of the problem at hand.

Though perhaps it’s a little early to get excited!

Paul’s journalism simulator is riddled with logistical problems – bugs, irritating user interface and design issues, and tremendously rough and dirty visuals. If the player’s editor (modeled on an ogre) is blocking the exit to the newsroom, for instance, the only way to get past is to battle the editor and die, then to respawn elsewhere. Paul is working on porting the content to a new game engine, however.

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