I am not able to speak or understand portuguese – together with more than 298 other languages. That is a shame and until Google or whoever will solve the global language mess we have to cling to english. I stumbled upon a blogpost from Fred by surprise. Florent had told me before, that there is a fluent newsgame-scene in Brazil. So? I did an Interview with Fred via Mail. Thank you very much Fred. And now people on the internet, get a cookie and lemonade and read on.
Fred, could you please introduce yourself?
Since 2009, I’m editor of the Internet Núcleo Jovem – which includes sites from Superinteressante, Mundo Estranho and Guia do Estudante. This sites are part of Editora Abril. Brazil’s media conglomerate Editora Abril S.A. is Latin America’s largest publishing and printing company. I graduated in journalism from UNESP (Sao Paulo´S State University) , in 2005. I also worked on sites from the Bizz magazine and I was editor of Entertainment in Abril.com. On this websites, I developed infographics, games, videos and strategies for social networks.
Why are you interested in Newsgames?
Well, I always loved to play games and I was really interested in multimedia productions when I graduated. So, when I started working in Editora Abril, in 2006, I made some experiences with lot of stuff, including games. In the begining, we didn’t even know that we were making newsgames. I worked in otherplaces for a while, and when I returned to Superinteressante’s website, people were studying how to mix games and news. Rafael Kenski was my boss, and he thought that “we were creating the mix of news and games”, in 2008. But then, a journalist wrote “Superinteressante make the best newsgames of Brazil”. And then, we realized: “Oh, so what we do is called newsgames”. It was funny. Well, Rafael Kenski – who was a pioneer in ARGs in Brasil too – left Abril and I became the editor, so we started to produce a lot of newsgames.
Brazil seems to be a place where Newsgames are being used. Could you name a handful of existing brazilian Newsgames?
Well, I think we are the team that produced more newsgames in Brazil. Our first games were very simple: “Stripquiz” (sexual education for male teenagers) for Mundo Estanho and “Soviets: The USSR Puzzle” for Aventuras na História. Then, Superinteressante’s team produced one of the best: “CSI“, a misterious adventure about forense police. I really like “Mafia’s Game“, “Electoral Race” and “Brazil in Second World War” too. The most popular was “BBB – Paredão da Personalidade“, about a famous reality show (Big Brother). It recently won a prize here
Well, in other sites you have: “O Desafio dos craques” – about soccer, and the political “Audio Pops” and “Quais candidatos pensam igual a você?“. You have good interactive infographics too like: “Onde atuam os jogadores da Copa 2010” ou “Como funciona uma bateria de escola de samba“.
Do you know about the first Newsgame in Brazil?
Well is really hard to point who is the first one. “Nanopops” was a simple political newsgame made in the end of 2007. At the same time, here in Editora Abril, Felipe Van Deursen and Renata Aguiar developed “Soviet: The USSR Puzzle” in “Aventuras na História” website. A little time before that, we made “StripQuiz” in Mundo Estranho. But, at this time no one thought “we are producing newsgames”. We were just trying to make news look funny. People as Tiago Dória and Andre Deak – tech journalists – that started do study and classify our productions.
What is your favourite Newsgame in Brazil and why?
Well, I really like “CSI” because it has a great design, a good stpry and really brings information in a funny way. If you allow me to leave modesty aside, I’m very proud of “Mafia’s Game” too. We produced it in partnership with people of the printed edition, and I think it’s simple and eficient. A few months after we launched it, Wired Magazine – which is a benchmark for Superinteressante’s printed version – made a game very similar to ours, called “Cutthroat Capitalism. ” This game is featured in the book “NewsGames: Jounalism at Play. ” But we did it before.
Who is behind these Newsgames? Are they done by Media Organisations? Or by independet developers? Who are the key players in that field?
Well, most of newsgames are produced inside newspapers’ websites offices or magazine’s websites offices. But, we don’t have a organized production. People use newsgames like a special resource. Independent developers make more simple games like the cartoon “Zangief Kid – The Game”. You can see some educational games being produced by independent developers too. You can ALSO find good multimedia experiences in Abril’s sites (Superinteressante, Veja e Guia do Estudante), G1, Estadão and IG.
Veja, Superinteressante, IG, Estadão and Mundo Estranho already won medals in Malofiej – the most important infographics prize.
Do you know about Newsgames in other Latin American countries?
No, unfortunately Brazil is still a little distant culturally from Spanish-speaking countries. We usually monitoring more sites and newspapers in English than in Spanish. But it has two multimedia stories that I really like, “Ruta 66” and “Cali La Ciudad que no Duerme”
How do you see the future of Newsgames?
Well, I think that games are one of the more exciting kinds of media, and they help people to learn easily. I think that newsgames will be more social, like a mix of Zynga’s Games and journalism and I think that we will see some newsgames in Smart Phones and tablets too. The real newjournalism is the multimedia journalism. This is the future and we have plenty of possibilities to explore.