If you haven’t had a chance yet, please go check out the online game Bad News, which is not only fun to play but it will help you learn to spot misinformation.
In Bad News, you play a media magnate intent on building followers and viral reach at any cost. It turns out, roleplaying in this way can help us get better at spotting bad information online! Bad News is also available in Spanish, Czech, Dutch, German, Greek, Esperanto, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Serbian, Slovenian and Swedish…. and a kid-appropriate version.
In a recent scientific article published in the Journal of Cognition, scientists describe the impact of playing Bad News on players’ susceptibility to misinformation. The science team found that “playing Bad News significantly improves people’s ability to spot misinformation techniques compared to a gamified control group.”
Not only that, playing Bad News helped people feel more confident in their own judgments–but only among the players who got better at correctly identifying fake news.
The study offers evidence that prebunking–giving people the information and skills to spot misinformation–is a very good way to stop the misinformation epidemic.
Bad News was developed by DROG, a software company offering “data-driven solutions to subversion.” DROG describes themselves with a manifesto rather than a mission statement: “If we want to solve what people often refer to as ‘the problem’ of disinformation, we should not be afraid of it; we should embrace it. Because after all, fear and distrust are the nuclear engine of disinformation.”
Seriously, it’s science. And it’s fun!