Stairway to Tax Heaven

Panama Papers newsgame teaches you how the rich evade tax

Let’s say you’ve just come into some money. Maybe you earned it through your labors. Maybe you didn’t—no need to get bogged down in the details. Anyhow, you have this money. Now what? A series of choices present themselves, which is to say that this situation has the makings of a game. Well, at least it has the makings of an interesting game so long as you don’t choose to disclose your wealth at every possible turn. Should you choose to do that, things will end quickly and with little excitement. But humans are not always that moral—at least not…


Cloud Chasers-A Journey of Hope, and the game mechanics of migration

Cloud Chasers—A Journey of Hope is a pretty game about migration, which is to say that it’s a visually appealing game about the great many ways in which this world is wretched. In a post-apocalyptic world—aren’t all words basically post-apocalyptic at this point?—a farmer and his daughter cannot go on living in the desert. They therefore go on the sort of journey many individuals in similar positions have undertaken. The game’s player must guide the twosome on their journey and conserve the scant resources available to them. Sure, the pair is traversing a procedurally generated desert to reach a city…


Clickhole’s parody newsgame simulates the gay love fest of ancient Roman battles

You are a seasoned Roman general in the year 31 AD. Your biceps and eight-pack glisten in the sunlight as the gods smile down upon you and promise bloody victory. Only you and your army stand between the Germanic invaders and your beautiful Roma. So you reach for your battle axe, grab a statue of Romulus and Remus suckling at their wolf-mother’s teat, and kiss your boyfriend, Antonius, hard on the lips. With Fight For The Glory Of Rome!, parody site Clickhole satirizes the attempts at a ‘choose your own newsgame,’ which many like the BBC have tried to use toward more serious ends.…


Paul Krugman delivers punches and ripostes in an arcade-style news game

In light of the recent imposition of capital controls in Greece and the looming prospect of a Grexit, now seems like as good a time as any to talk about economists punching one another. He has the mien of a vituperative hobgoblin  Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, New York Times columnist, and co-author of an excellent International Economics textbook (amongst others), has the mien of a vituperative hobgoblin. Judging by the picture next to his byline, he wants to punch someone in the face. (And considering the state of the economy, can you blame him?) Luckily for Krugman and…


Don’t know how tedious passing a bill can be? Experience it with this satirical quiz

Growing up in a city crawling with politically questionable leaders and spending most of my adulthood in America’s capital has clearly had some kind of positive affect on me. I became a Congresswoman and successfully passed a bill (on my third try!), all by being a completely passive wet noodle. Clickhole has created a new quiz weighing how well you would do as a member of Congress. I ended up in jail, twice, for murder. Apparently, my IP address has been given to the NSA, which is cool since I’ve always wanted to be an agent. It’s completely reminiscent of…


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…