Can you gamify environmental news?

By David Poulson
Al Jazeera’s has got an interesting environmental news experiment underway.
A story about illegal fishing in West Africa is coupled with an interactive web game. It lets you play the role of a reporter tracking down the story.

Players watch video clips to gather evidence and notes.
Apparently the idea is that news consumers can gain greater understanding of an environmental issue when they are actively involved with it.
It’s an interesting concept. Give it a try here.
I’m curious about what you think. Is it engaging? Could you stick with it? Do you think you better understand the issue?
But better yet, I’d like your help in developing a challenge. Suggest a Great Lakes relevant environmental issue that might benefit from similar treatment. Use the comment section below. And feel free to rough out how such a game might unfold.
I can’t promise you we’ll execute it.
But I’ve got a class of smart aspiring environmental journalists that I’d like to see tackle something unusual. Come up with a concept and I’ll toss it their way.
David Poulson is the senior associate director of Michigan State University’s Knight Center for Environmental Journalism. This post also appeared on, the center’s environmental news site.