Sharing News Games

As mentioned in the previous post, we just introduced this feature. Below each game on the Play the News portal you will find a section called “Share This Game”. You may post any game to your website or blog using the iframe embed tag. For embedding the game, please note: because they have fixed dimensions of 600 x 450, you may need to adjust your website or blog’s width to accommodate a more pleasing layout. Here is a sample for the PA Democratic Primary:

PlayTheNews is Now Live!

The closed beta is formally over and http://www.playthenewsgame.com is now open to the public. During the closed beta period we had 340 members who provided us with invaluable feedback and showed outstanding participation. We plan to continue to improve, update, and introduce new features to the site in the future so keep your suggestions coming. We know there are many more things we could add to make the site even better but it’s time to push the fledging out of its nest.

If you (like us) are enjoying active participation in the news, and think others will too, please help us spread the word. Many of you have asked if you could share your log-in with others or could invite others into the community, and now is the time. We added a “Share This Game” feature, so just like a YouTube video, anyone can embed our Flash games into their personal blogs or websites, as well as link to them from popular social networking and news aggregation sites (e.g. Digg, Facebook, Google).

The site is free of charge to end-users. We are excited to let you know that two top-tier media partners are planning to launch PlayTheNews on their site in the following weeks bringing even more content to the community. As promised, we have added all registered users to our iPhone raffle. We will conduct the drawing in the following days, and one of you lucky participants will be contacted with the good news.

We want to thank the community again for the amazing feedback and participation. We hope you will continue to Play the News, keeping our community vibrant and engaged. Feel free to keep sending feedback to us directly. Due to the success of the forum, we’ve decided to leave it open for future comments.

Sincerely,
The ImpactGames team

Call for Beta Testers!

In February we are launching a closed beta of our new online product: Play the News, imagine if you will Fantasy Sports meets the Evening News. As a player you can choose your role and participate in a variety of real events: domestic, global, serious news as well as softer issues and entertainment. You can gain a deeper understanding of the day’s headlines while voicing your opinion. You will be measured vs. reality as well as against the performance of other community members.

To make it a bit more interesting for those of you that choose to help us out we will be giving away an iPhone to one lucky participant. Just by signing up you have a chance to win. Perform well on the platform to raise your chances.

If you would like to take part and help us in shaping this unique product, please use the contact form. If possible and you feel verbose, we’d love to hear in 1-2 sentences who you are, and why you are interested to join. We apologize in advance if we can’t accommodate everyone, as it is a limited beta. In any case, your personal data is guaranteed and will not be used for any other purpose, not now and not in the future.

Another open position – Content Writer and Manager

Edit 1.15 – this position is no longer open, thanks for all the applications!

This time around we are looking for a creative writer to lead, manage and write content for our online interactive experiences. The candidate should have a mastery of textual writing as well as the ability to attach visual and audible references to their work. We would require interested candidates to submit examples of their previous work in a range of fields, such as: fiction, non-fiction, technical writing, video games and/or journalism. We are looking for dedicated individuals with deep understanding and immersion in current events on diverse topics: Global, US, entertainment, technology, business and more. Please note that the application process will include a writing test on a selected topic/s. To Apply please send your cover letter and resume to jobs (at) impactgames.com

Open Position – Sys Admin

Edit 1.15 – this position is no longer open, thanks for all the applications!

As we are expanding our business strategy to encompass interactive Web experiences around news and current events, we are seeking an exceptionally talented System Administrator who would share our passion and vision. We offer a competitive salary and compensation based on experience. The job is located in Pittsburgh. Our new admin will take overall responsibility for setup and maintenance of client-facing and internal systems, including administrating and balancing a high traffic website that integrates dynamic database content and flash remote services. He/she will work with software developers in performance monitoring and benchmarking of server side-applications, and be responsible for maintaining the internal company network. Responsibilities may also include HTML, JavaScript and Java coding. Interested? Please send a cover letter and resume through the contact form on our sites (PeaceMaker or ImpactGames).

ImpactGames' Next Product

We were somewhat hesitant to announce our new endeavors while still in early stages of development but our good friend Charlie O’Donnell did it for us. Charlie is a passionate advocate for the anti-stealth approach and his Blog is his way to communicate his business ideas and vision in full transparency. Our new effort in his own words:

“…If we’re in a bubble, why aren’t these guys fully funded yet? Oh… wait… that’s because they’re not anti-stealth. They’re not stealth either… They’re just a bit lax in telling the the world about their cool app. Impact Games is taking their award winning concept from a game about the middle east they built called PeaceMaker to the web, and turning the news into an interactive, community driven game experience. Imagine fantasy baseball meets CNN. They’re not looking for ridiculous amounts of money either, and Asi and Eric are great guys… so someone go fund them.”

And still among friends, check out Hila Medalia’s new documentary about the Israeli Palestinian Conflict “To Die in Jerusalem“. The film is distributed by HBO Films and like PeaceMaker it focuses on the two perspectives, trying hard to present a balanced account of real events. Hila also appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America.

Playing the News

I wanted to dedicate this entry to our new tag line, and specifically the term “Playing the News“. We gathered a lot of feedback from early customers of PeaceMaker. A common theme is that the immersive nature and emotional impact of the game’s interactivity brings news events to life and creates a deeper retention and internalization of the information. I gathered a few quotes to demonstrate that effect:

– Eric Boyd on his blog: “I learned more in an hour playing this game than in years of listening to the news”

– T.Bowers: “Although he [my son] was able to go through the game quickly, he learned more about the conflicts that have been plaguing the Middle East in three hours than I have been able to teach him in many years.”

Ernest Adams on Gamasutra and Mark MacKinnon of the Globe and Mail both reflected on their virtual experience while comparing it to current events. Adams through opening the BBC website on another screen while playing, and MacKinnon through sitting a few blocks from where the news was actually happening (Olmert-Abbas summit).

To us, “Playing the News” is a new concept. It is not about “education” as it is about consuming information. Just like we turn on the TV for the evening news, skim through the Sunday newspaper or watch a documentary, PeaceMaker is a new information channel. While this title is focused on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict we at ImpactGames aim to create future titles about other socio-political issues (domestic or global). And, hopefully, provide better understanding and engagement through interactivity.