‘Stupid game’ makes the most of digital

The New York Times embedded a game in the magazine article Just one more game… last week, illustrating the concept the article presents.


The game that was inserted into Sam Anderson’s article is based on a two-year-old game, “Kick Ass.” Through its open source model, Jon Huang, The New York Times’s multimedia producer, modified the game, putting it on the Web page to attract readers.

Readers can control the spacecraft to shoot everything on the page. “We realized we could tweak the nose or the ear a little bit and share a joke,” Huang told New York Times blogger Samantha Henig. “I wanted to share a joke with the reader.”

With full support from The New York Times’s advertisement department with letting the ads on the page be blown up, the game successfully keeps readers on the page longer.

“It’s cool that [Huang] made a game that invades that space,” Zach Gage, an indie game designer, told Henig. ”It’s very easy to read The New York Times in print and read The New York Times online and think reading The New York Times online is functionally the same. But it’s not. It’s really different. You’re existing in a digital space that has other people in it and is a manipulatable experience.”

And, the space game illustrated the article’s point perfectly. “While [the author] waxed poetic about the implication of “stupid games,” we were busy shooting ads on the site.” CBS News noted. Zack Whittaker, a ZDNet’s blogger also wrote that he spent more time blowing up the website than he did on reading the article itself.

Despite being known as the “Gray Lady” of journalism, The New York Times keeps trying new things to allure readers, Mashable noted. For instance, a homepage ad in February for Met Life let you play piano like Schroeder, the Peanuts character.

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