A new newspaper debuted yesterday: the Westport Independent.
But it did not roll off the presses.
It’s a simulation video game.
Billed as “about censorship, corruption and newspapers,” the idea is this: You’re the editor of a paper in a fictional, fascist 1940s post-war country. What do you do?
You can spin articles a certain way, or censor them. According to the website Kotaku:
The choices you make — which also include how much to spend on marketing in different politically aligned neighborhoods — will either make the Westport Independent seem like a propaganda tool for the draconian Loyalist government, or express sympathies for the Rebel insurgency trying to defy their rule.
PC Gamer describes:
As editor, you can choose to support the government or encourage rebellion, and you’re in control of which stories get published and how they read. You can switch between different headlines, altering the intonation of each story.
Don’t like that line about a study being government funded? Chop it out. The same article can be about a burglar being apprehended, or a homeless man being assaulted. These choices are determined by your moral compass (and how comfortable you are with your staff getting a compulsory manicure from the secret police).
I have no idea why the developers call this the Westport Independent. But between this game, and the new Showtime hedge fund drama “Billions” set here, our town is fast becoming the media and financial capital of the world.
(For more information — or to buy the Westport Independent — click here.)