The New York Times Magazine is getting gamey–literally. For a recent piece about addictive video games, they embedded their own game, in which you can shoot at and destroy pieces of the website. But it’s more than just a cool way to spend time and blow up advertisements, it actually supplements the story itself, demonstrating the value and draw of mostly mindless video games that provide little more than the pleasure of breaking things. Personally, I think it’s a must for anyone who doesn’t understand the phenomenon behind Angry Birds. In terms of visuals, the design is about as sophisticated as Pong, but that’s not the point.
There’s a kind of brilliance that this comes from the New York Times Magazine. While e-publishing has come a long way, ‘magazine’ still generally refers to print media, but nobody who picks up the magazine in this Sunday’s weekend edition will be able to experience the piece in its entirety without going online. Of course, you can make the argument that this is the case for almost all print news; when is the last time you read an article that didn’t link or refer to some video or interactive graphic online? Still, this is different. I would even go so far as to posit that you miss the crux of the article if you don’t spend just a couple of minutes with the game. We often quote the great Marshall McLuhan when we talk about medium literacy, insisting that the medium is the message. In this case, it’s pretty evident.
Follow The LAMP on Twitter: @thelampnyc
Follow me on Twitter: @emlong