The Reading Room

Buzzfeed is game for news

Internet news media company Buzzfeed, not content with bringing us “the hottest, most social content on the web” since 2006 is apparently getting into the games business. And news could be one of its regular subjects.

While a process of recruiting game developers is said to be underway, Buzzfeed has been heading in this direction recently, with a lot of its content focusing on not just lists (and we all love a good pop culture list) but increasingly quizzes, so games seem the next logical step.

We’ve seen a Game of Thrones name generator, an Orange Is The New Black tattoo generator, and a personalised Buzzfeed story headline generator. Buzzfeed’s Vice President of Product Chris Johanesen, told Tech Crunch’s Anthony Ha last week that three editors sat down with the games team in a week long “sprint” and came up with as many ideas as possible for interactive content.

Coming up with a flexible games engine “will allow designers to quickly produce games that respond to the fast moving online news agenda”, as The Guardian’s Keith Stuart put it this week.

He also pointed to Buzzfeed not being alone among news sources in the quest to develop more interactive content that can engage readers as media consumption constantly morphs and evolves. He points to the 2013 example of the biggest story on the New York Times site being a quiz about local vernacular.

Many more outlets are likely to go down this road to liven up their content offering to retain and attract audiences.

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