Fake Me Out: A Media Literacy Web App

‘Fake news’ is an existential crisis that is here to stay. Identifying misinformation is an essential skill to build within this digital age of accessible and easily misconstrued media. Yesterday Buzzfeed tweeted a video…

Misinformation is advancing into other mediums like videos and images. There are speculations being made expressing opinions which state this prominent issue will most likely never be solved but many organizations, media companies, educators, and institutions are trying to fight it. After tweeting their jaw-dropping fake video of President Barack, Buzzfeed makes some excellent recommendations:

Although many companies and institutions are making a valiant effort to fight ‘fake news’, it is evident users of all ages will need better resources and tools to teach them how to overcome this issue. Therefore, I created of a web app media literacy tool called Fake Me Out. 

Fake Me Out is a tool specifically designed for readers to build a path of skepticism and promote critical thinking skills. Fake Me Out encourages users to take a step back from the text, video, or any information presented and analyze the information carefully. The ultimate goal is for users to become pragmatic, critical thinkers. The learning activity within the application is supported by literature and theoretical frameworks. To learn more about Fake Me Out, review the slide deck which includes a video walk-through of the web app. Read my blog post Mobile Learning Design Challenge to learn about the design process of this application.

If you’re interested in collaborating with me on this project, please contact me here.

 

#AlternativeFacts

Summary:

#AlternativeFacts is a 2D game based on the current political climate and media in the United States. The participant will sit in front of a computer screen which will display the 2D game. The participant will be instructed to hit the arrow keys to move the player, which is a fireball. There is a countdown timer on the screen and the goal of the game is to collect all of the tweets before the time is up. #AlternativeFacts is a media experience that is encouraged to instill the stress of today’s political climate and allow participants to play a fun game to reflect upon the use of social media and unchecked facts.

Inspiration:

I mainly rely on social media to keep me up to date with news, as do many other Americans around the country. I actively use Twitter to not only share my thoughts and ideas but also stay current with the news from major news corporations like CNN, New York Times, Fox, and NPR. With the election of Donald Trump, Americans have been under a lot of stress. I, for one, do feel especially stressed about the “fake news” epidemic on the Internet and the #alternativefacts coined by the presidency. It makes me feel so uneasy that the President of the United States uses Twitter to release personal, sometimes untruthful, and what seems unpresidential thoughts on Twitter. I believe it is important to address this issue and show for one, anyone can fabricate news on the Internet and fool the people of America, and two, the president and his cabinet have released many false statements since the start of his presidency.

Research:

In exploring new media art, I became interested in radical games. I especially like Paolo Pedercini’s work. His pieces such as Everyday the Same Dream and McDonald’s Videogame were my sources of inspiration because of the frank message being expressed in each game. This new perspective of games inspired me to research radical games and games for change using games as a type of frame for a new media art piece.

Process:

The p5.js library was used to create this digital web-based game. The first iteration of the game consisted of a player walking across the screen on a platform. The goal of the game was to play through different challenges as the player walked through screens. This expectation was ver cumbersome and time-consuming. With the time constraint, the goal of the game changed.  The player will race the clock to collect all of the collectibles and wipe the screen clean.

Final Project Documentation:

Enjoy playing #AlternativeFacts!

code GameJam

code GameJam is an open source project on GitHub. These are prototypes of a website that builds an inclusive gaming community. This website targets girls and women teaching them about the design and development of digital games. View the wireframes below. [Created using Balsamiq Mockups 3]

To learn more about code GameJam, click here to read the design document.

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Animal Powers

Animal Powers is a life-size board game that introduces basic computer science concepts for children ages 3 to 7 years old. To learn more about this game, click here.

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This game was designed by CS4Kids, a group of graduate students at Teachers College, Columbia University. (A. Gimb, X. Liu, W. Ma, A. Mozo, S. Yang, & R. Yi)

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