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LSBU students host BuzzFeed in online newsgame production workshop

Gaming and Journalism students partnered with leading news media company BuzzFeed UK to explore online newsgames, a cutting-edge form of journalism
27 March 2015

LSBU students have worked to a brief set by BuzzFeed's Senior Writer, Tom Phillips, to create an online game in response to items on the current news agenda. 

During a two-day workshop, students selected trending news stories and worked in teams with coders, artists and designers from Auroch Digital, a world-leading newsgame development agency, to develop their games.

Newsgames allow readers to engage with the news in a highly interactive way and are seen by many as playing a key role in the future of news production. The workshop took place in LSBU's dedicated Gaming Studio, which offers a purpose-built facility for the study and production of video games.

For students of LSBU's innovative BA in Games Culture course, the opportunity to partner with an industry-leading media outlet on a real-world live brief was a highly valuable experience. Student Patryk Orlowski said: "Working with BuzzFeed is very exciting, it's scary, but in a really good way. It's great to have the freedom to develop a game around a potentially risky news topic, and this will really help me to build my confidence. This project will give me something real to show on my CV, in a very exciting new area of gaming."

George Voicke, another gaming student, added: "It's great for students to be able to try something new here; testing out ideas, having a different viewpoint and getting good practical experience in this new area of gaming is really important."

Janet Jones, Dean of LSBU's School of Arts and Creative Industries, arranged the workshop to show students of gaming and journalism that different skills are now being demanded by employers in contemporary media production. Janet Jones commented, "Twitter, YouTube and Instagram have become landmarks in the evolution of digital journalism production. All are now central to journalism practice; yet the best journalism of the future will not be simply read or watched, but played.

"Journalists are testing the limitations and possibilities of game production as part of the 24 hour news flow process. We're asking here if games might be superior in their ability to handle a story effectively."