In Lindsay Grace’s presentation, “What Journalist Can Learn From Game Design,” he made use of his strategy “planned collision,” and taught audience members the rules of game design, with the frame of how they could effect news design.
Across the board, news designers can benefit from many core gaming principles, such as: “fail quickly and fail often,” “free doesn’t mean profit free,” and “content may be king, but experience is the kingdom.” Taken at face value, it is easy to see parallels in the two industries. Grace, a professor at American University, encouraged this crossover of ideas.
The gaming industry is hugely profitable, and with the main platform shifting to mobile from consoles, newspaper developers have a lot more in common with game developers than they may think.
One lesson that resonates with news designers — in the constantly evolving environment that is digital journalism — is to fail. He said it is better to learn from our mistakes more than from our successes. It’s better to experiment and be able to eliminate bad ideas than to be paralyzed and unprogressive.
In terms of revenue, Grace, encouraged the room to think of “free,” as not necessarily unprofitable. Other than ads, analytics and cross-promotion of services are ways games and newspaper apps alike can gain.
On experience, game designers, journalists and news designers are focused on the same thing: keeping the viewers’ attention, which led Grace to say “experience is the kingdom.” If news designers can keep people engaged, teach readers by having them do and add playfulness to their designs, they may be able to hold readers’ attention longer.
With new platforms and technology, game and news designers are both constantly redesigning. Grace opened the room’s eyes to the parallel problems the two face and encouraged news designers to take a page from the gamers’ book. Though making games at the same pace news is released is not an easy task, gaming is an innovative and relatively untapped storytelling strategy.