Chungking Espresso

Announcing: The Cartoonist

Posted in Newsgames, Projects by Simon Ferrari on September 2, 2010



The Cartoonist, our winning entry in the 2010 Knight News Challenge, emerged from two research programs. For the past two years, my research group at the Georgia Institute of Technology has been cataloging and analyzing the burgeoning genre of “newsgames” — videogames about current and past real-world events. That research produced a book, Newsgames, which will be published next month by MIT Press.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country, professor Michael Mateas and his Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz have been working on the problem of game generation by creating artificial intelligence tools to create a virtually infinite number of games.

The goal of our two-year Knight grant is to create a tool for generating newsgames on the fly, making it viable to create a videogame about a breaking event. This is done by identifying the issue and an angle for editorial or reporting, boiling the story down into its constituent agents and their relationships, and selecting from a range of rhetorical archetypes. Anyone who understands how to use the tool will be able to create a newsgame, remixed from the structures and mechanics of popular arcade games, within five minutes or less. The game will output to Flash and HTML 5 for instant uploading to the web, where it can be paired with reportage, columns, video, infographics, and cartoons covering the same current event.

Read the rest of the post here at MediaShift Idea Lab.

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3 Responses

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  1. […] Cartoonist: an authoring tool we’re designing and constructing to enable journalists to create expressive games within the time constraints imposed by the news cycle. […]

  2. […] since we’re aiming to create a tool allowing others to make games of this type through the Cartoonist […]

  3. Game-o-Matic Launched | HobbyGameDev said, on October 1, 2012 at 1:26 am

    […] HobbyGameDev about my involvement with the Newsgames project at Georgia Tech, briefly alluding to “Cartoonist”, a tool we were creating to enable non-developers to rapidly crank out games inspired by simple […]


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