How bad can you be? This game teaches you how fake news and disinformation spreads as players take on the role of the bad guy to acquire as many followers as possible while raising their credibility ratings. Follow the prompts and make selections on how to spread disinformation and take advantage of others' fears and emotions as you proceed through the game. As you make choices, watch how that affects the number of your followers and learn how to use celebrity and fear to influence others. Throughout the game, players earn up to six badges recognizing accomplishments such as impersonation and emotion.
tag(s): digital citizenship (74), game based learning (147), internet safety (121), media literacy (74), social media (35)
In the Classroom
This game is perfect for use as an introduction to lessons on digital citizenship, media literacy, and social media. Share the site with your students to explore on their own and encourage them to play several different times using the different options provided. Your students won't mind playing over and over; it is easy to get hooked on trying to find the best way to gain as many followers as possible! Once students become familiar with the game and the different options presented for spreading misinformation, ask them to apply their findings to online content. Have them do some online research to find sites or information using tactics such as emotion and the others featured in Bad News. As they research sites and online information, have them add links to the sites they find on a class Padlet. Padlet, reviewed here, offers an option to create columns, use this option then label a column for each badge found in the game and ask students to share a link to their sites in the appropriate column. In addition to adding a link, have students include a comment providing information on why their site belongs in the category. Instead of assessing learning with quizzes or a written report, transform your assessment by having students create infographics to share information learned. Canva Infographic Maker, reviewed here, provides easy to use templates to create interesting and informative infographics. Take learning one step further and ask students to become the teacher using Symbaloo Learning Paths, reviewed here, to create an online learning activity teaching others on how to recognize and avoid disinformation found online. Be sure to share your assessment rubric with students as part of your assignment. Find many ideas for implementing rubrics for assessment along with examples and online tools at TeachersFirst Rubrics to the Rescue, reviewed here.