1000 Days in Syria brings interactive (non)fiction to war journalism

For a brief period after the onset of the Syrian Civil War, journalist Mitch Swenson was there, hitching rides with Syrian rebels and rubbing elbows with smugglers. Then, he came home to the US to write a free-to-play adventure game about it. (Full disclosure: he has written exactly 2 articles for us last year.)

1000 Days of Syria is the result, a text-based newsgame which you can play from the perspective of a mother of two in Daraa, a rebel youth in Aleppo, or Swenson himself. And it’s a pretty novel approach to the news. 

While documentaries and longform articles are filtered through one perspective, interactive fiction (or in this case interactive non-fiction) allows for sentences to branch off in the direction of your interest. And while news-games with multiple possibilities don’t necessarily save the news from being subjective, it could encourage journalists to see stories from other angles; or it could just lead to you reading the part of the story you agree with.

You can read more about the project at The Guardian, or jump right in and play it here.