Boffins have created a video game that allows the user to entirely control the spread of Fake News. Yuge.
Fake News is a pox on all our houses, but at least our kids won’t have to live our diseased addresses, right?
Well, no. You beautifully naive waif, you. Sadly, the most lasting legacy of the Trump administration will not be the re-mobilisation of the Reich, but the fact people no longer believe what they reads, so they decide to make up something and believe that. Like a newly built apartment block that obscures your view of the ocean, it’s a problem that is not going away.
It’s particularly obvious that we can’t prevent the headache by cutting off the head, the situation now bends to finding a cure, or at the very least, a vaccination.
Those who walk the dusty halls (that smell like leather and wealth) of Cambridge University are endeavouring to find said vaccine. Following the strictest definition of the vaccine, boffins have created a video game that allows users to sample the behaviour of Fake News, all in an effort to allow the host to resist the pandemic.
The game, which honestly, I’d absolutely give it a lash, allows you the user to control the flow of Fake News within the world of the simulation, a world that has recently been wracked by a national tragedy. I dunno, like the 18th mass shooting at a school in two months. You’re prompted to create anger, mistrust and codswaffle through twisting headlines, bot traffic and promoting conspiracy theories, and are then ranked by a grade of your credibility.
Which sounds all the way fun. It teaches you while you learn.
“You don’t have to be a master spin doctor to create effective disinformation. Anyone can start a site and artificially amplify it through twitter bots, for example. But recognising and resisting fake news doesn’t require a PhD in media studies either,” says Jon Roozenbeek, a researcher from Cambridge’s Department of Slavonic Studies and one of the game’s designers.
Which is all well and good, right?
Make it mandatory for every 360 no-scoping trick-shooting twelvie camped in his Mom’s basement in Kansas. Moving forward, and problem solved, we can breed it out, right? Arguably yes.
Unless the next generation of muck-rakers learns from the simulation, deciding to adapt and change, thus continuing the bitter cycle of bulltwang we’ll never be free of.