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Ferguson media coverage inspires game about modern journalism

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Since Michael Brown was shot dead by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson on Aug, 9, sparking riots and protests, some media coverage of the event has been slanted according to prejudice or the political leanings of attending outlets.

Criticism has been leveled at sections of the media for focusing on petty crimes seemingly committed by Brown, an African American teenager who was unarmed when he was fatally shot in the street.

The controversy over how media portrays minorities in the United States is soon to become the focus of a video game.

In an interview with Kill Screen, developer Nicky Case talked about his unnamed game, which is about how stories are framed. Case showed how players of the game watch a situation in which police officers are engaged with members of the public, and literally drop a frame on the action in order to capture the essence of the event, like a photographer or news cameraman.

"Take cop-friendly photos, and the cops could be more friendly towards you, and let you have access to areas you wouldn't have otherwise," said Case. "Or take extremist photos, and you will personally turn a peaceful protest into an all-out violent conflict."

Case said he was inspired by games like Papers, Please, that took a serious issue like totalitarianism and turned it into a game, played by many people. Players of Case's game are rewarded by an uptick in Twitter followers, if they take attention-grabbing photos, a parallel with the media's need to chase ratings and traffic.

"It's silly and playful, but I think that helps underscore/contrast how fucked up things are," he said.