MediaLab Virtual Experience: Using a video game to innovate journalism | Latin America | DW | 17.06.2022
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Latin America

MediaLab Virtual Experience: Using a video game to innovate journalism

Journalism cannot survive without innovation, but how can it be achieved? The MediaLab Virtual Experience video game allows communication professionals in Bolivia to improve their work with an eye to the future.

"Do you want to know something different, something new, something novel about the media? Then visit, play and participate in the MediaLab virtual experience," shared Sergio Gandarillas, a local journalist from Bolivia who was invited to test the MediaLab 2020 Virtual Experience, a video game for teaching journalism. 

This innovative adventure summarizes the contents of the "MediaLab: New Generation" series. These seven "MediaLabs", organized by Fundación Para el Periodismo (FPP), a DW Akademie partner in Bolivia, were created to support media professionals in Latin America who want to improve their productivity and viability, as well as to adapt to the new challenges of the media landscape. 

Gandarillas is one of the more than 100 communication professionals who participated in these media workshops in Bolivia. But, once the labs came to an end, a challenge arose concerning how to ensure that what was learned continues to be applied. This is where the MediaLab 2020 Virtual Experience came in! 

Let's learn by playing  

Through an avatar, Gandarillas moves through this virtual learning world. In the main hall, each of the MediaLab coordinators welcomes him and invites him to enter their respective spaces.    

"Want to learn how to help traditional media survive in the century of digitalization and fill the information gap for the population? I invite you to an experience that will be unforgettable for you," these words come from the hologram of Renan Estenssoro, director of FPP and one of the coordinators of the MediaLabs. 

In Estenssoro's lab, Gandarillas can learn, for example, strategies for aligning state media with the new needs of the digital world. In Lab 2, he can get information on business models for the creation of viable new media and in number 3, he can access tools to develop multimedia and cross-media journalism.   

This video game offers users the whole range of the knowledge gained through the seven MediaLabs in a simple and entertaining virtual format. Moreover, it is available to anyone around the world who wants to learn more about journalism through a new, innovative format. 

For those interested in accessing the MediaLab Virtual Experience, yo can do so via your computer or smartphone. Just click here(in Spanish, web version available only for PC) or download the "MediaLab Virtual Experience" app from the Android and IOS app stores.  

Fundación para el Periodismo (FPP) is a strategic partner of DW Akademie in Bolivia. Its objectives include highlighting new generations of spaces for innovation of and experimentation on journalism as a vocation for the future. In 2019, the program "Idealab: Creating new media, a shared task" was born, which gathered the opinion of civil society in five Bolivian cities on the kind of media the country needs. From this, the idea of the "Media Lab: New Generation" was born in 2020. This project is supported by DW Akademie and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation (BMZ).   

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