Recently we’ve been focusing a lot on how game mechanics will be built into everything from saving the world to living your daily life. Recently we came across NewsUp, a cool mobile application startup out of Baltimore, that is taking this idea into the realm of something we all (hopefully) do every day: reading the news. I spoke with founders Andrew and Jason and they explained to me that if you build a game in which users are rewarded for reading articles that interest them and for answering trivia questions based on the content they read, then you could significantly increase the amount of articles read and time spent reading them. Especially in the US, where 40% of adults face reduced job opportunities and life prospects due to inadequate literacy levels, a system such as NewsUp seems highly relevant. Incentives are of course not new when it comes to learning, parents use them all the time when it comes to getting kids to do their homework reading, but applied to reading the news for adults seems to be a really novel idea. Here is a NewsUp video that explains more about the product:
Interestingly enough it seems that large news organizations are intuitively becoming aware of the same trend. Although approaching the subject from a different perspective, here is Peter Bale, General Manager for Digital of CNN International, talking about his ideas (starting at 01:45) on gamification and the news.