Newsgames against hate speech in the refugee crisis
Keywords:Newsgames, hate speech, refugees, multimodal analysis, gamification, inmigration
The refugee crisis has been a fertile ground for hate speech that has portrayed migrants as a dangerous threat and has been spread through social networks. While the media have unconsciously contributed to the proliferation of these racist messages, some have reacted by extending their traditional journalistic activity to the creation of newsgames to find new ways of addressing the situation. This study examines the use of five newsgames developed by leading media outlets using a methodology based on a multimodal qualitative analysis (informative and ludonarrative). The results showed that newsgames players have access to truthful information, as is the case for other journalistic genres, and draw on other types of personal and emotional information (circumstances, feelings, family ties). These data did not appear in isolation but integrated into the gaming experience. The study concludes by identifying the interaction between the levels of information and immersion of the newsgames that make up the sample, as well as their different gradation: giving the player the opportunity to make more significant decisions within the story allows for the introduction of nuances that promote empathy towards refugees; however, greater freedom in the gaming experience in newsgames distances them from the classic informational model and may involve a greater risk of distortion of the ideas that they seek to promote.