NBC explained that “reaction… appears to muted” for a NATO Facebook game that they believe can help against “fake news”.
“Initial reaction to the game, which is called The News Hero, appears to be muted. By Friday morning, it had received just 50 likes and one share,” according to NBC.
The online game is designed to place gamers in the role of a news publisher in a professional newsroom. Players have to decide whether the headlines that pass their virtual newsdesk are real or fake. The game’s creators say it is aimed at “Russian state disinformation campaigns”.
Developers would not reveal how much money was spent on the project which is clearly a complete and utter flop. The online game launched last Monday, but currently has only 3 shares and 123 “likes”.
The News Hero game was developed over a period of four months by a team of eight people at the NATO Strategic Communications Center of Excellence in Latvia, which bills itself as “focused on countering misinformation campaigns”.
Stars and Stripes explains, “the user is responsible for putting together a newspaper free of the phony. With the help of trusty assistant Bronco, you decide what is real and what is fake.”
The News Hero Facebook page describes the rules and objectives as follows:
To get your company noticed and gain an audience, you must publish accurate news. Pay attention to the hints provided in the Fact Checker screen and verify the incoming stories. With each level becoming increasingly difficult you can hire new assistants and obtain things to customize your office. This will boost performance of your employees and help you earn more. The game is divided into three levels, each informing the player on how to distinguish between the fact and the fiction. Are you up for the challenge? Invite your friends and climb the leaderboard!
Stars and Stripes explains some of the “fake vs. true” news scenarios presented in the game as follows: “Is Justin Timberlake really an anti-vaccination activist? Did a lady in Detroit really train a squirrel to attack her boyfriend?”
In News Hero, the player supposedly has to decide, but a “fact-checker ” in the game does most of the thinking.