Gaming against Disinformation
Hi! We are Bad News and we are simply the worst!
We develop serious games that arm the player against disinformation tactics. These games have proven scientific impact and help to make education on media literacy both fun and effective!
Bad News currently offers three games: Bad News, Harmony Square and GoViral!
Apart from this, we have collaborated on a project called Under Pressure, which uses a multiplayer game to combine peer education and serious gaming to kickstart a conversation about digital citizenship, online manipulation, and important democratic values like freedom of press and freedom of speech.
In Bad News, you take on the role of fake news-monger. Drop all pretense of ethics and choose a path that builds your persona as an unscrupulous media magnate. But keep an eye on your 'followers' and 'credibility' meters. Your task is to get as many followers as you can while slowly building up fake credibility as a news site. But watch out: you lose if you tell obvious lies or disappoint your supporters!
Available in 19 languages: Arabic,Armenian, Bosnian, Czech, Dutch, Estonian, German, Greek, Esperanto, Moldovan, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish (Argentina), Swedish, and Ukrainian.
There is also a version for players under the age of 14 (only in Dutch): Bad News Junior
In this game, the setting is the idyllic Harmony Square, a small neighborhood mildly obsessed with democracy. You, the player, are hired as Chief Disinformation Officer. Over the course of 4 short levels, your job is to disturb the square’s peace and quiet by fomenting internal divisions and pitting its residents against each other.
Available in 8 languages: Arabic, Bahasa Indonesian,
Czech, Dutch, English, French, German, and Russian.
Go Viral! is a 5-minute game that helps protect you against COVID-19 misinformation. You’ll learn about some of the most common strategies used to spread false and misleading information about the virus.
Available in 11 languages: Croatian, Czech, English, Estonian, German, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, Ukrainian and Latvian
Under Pressure is a multi-player game for the classroom that is based on the original Bad News game. The project was developed in the context of the PEGAP (Peer Education and Gamification against Polarisation) project.
You can find more information here.
About Bad News Company
The foundation of the Bad News company lies in DROG, a company which aims at providing the best possible solutions to the onslaught of disinformation and fake news that circulates online nowadays.
In 2016, DROG developed the game Bad News, a game with the intention to educate people about disinformation techniques and to provide more insight into manipulation tactics, first as a paper board game, then online. Bad News was first developed in Dutch, but eventually grew to an international success when the English translation was launched, with more than 1,5 million players.
Inoculation theory for dummies
The game has been the first to prove the effectiveness of inoculation theory. The inoculation theory claims that there is such a thing as a psychological vaccine. A vaccine consists of a strongly weakened dose of a disease or virus, which is injected into the body. This prompts the body to recognize the disease and create antibodies that can then kill the disease. If the body encounters the disease again, it is prepared to deal with it far more efficiently. The inoculation theory works according to the same principle: if the mind is exposed to weakened doses of disinformation, it is later able to recognize it and therefore handle the information in a different way. Our games are based on the same principle: by subjecting the players to a small dose of disinformation, they are better able to recognize disinformation tactics when coming across them in the wild. Click here to read more about the science of it all.