Atom Entertainment, Inc. said today it has opened the first "NewsGames" channel ( http://www.addictinggames.com/newsgames.html ) at the fast growing online games destination AddictingGames(TM) and said it will develop dozens of new titles each year and promote the best user-generated games that mock the most popular headlines and cultural topics of the day.
"Games are increasingly becoming another form of expression and communication in our daily lives," said Mika Salmi, CEO of Atom Entertainment, recently acquired by Viacom. "Games that make us laugh at what we see in the newspaper, in the news or online are among the most explosively popular online games. We created the NewsGames channel on AddictingGames to create a space for consumers to find an escape that lets them laugh at the events in the news or pop culture."
Atom Entertainment is making efforts across the company's online destinations that encourage gamers to submit their own user-generated games that parody the headlines and happenings of the day.
Most of the content at the NewsGames channel will be harvested from user submissions. Today, users can create games just about as quickly and easily as they can shoot, edit and publish video Atom Entertainment expects to see much of the content in the NewsGames channel to come from user submissions and online gamers.
In addition, Atom Entertainment has a new business relationship with game developer Persuasive Games, a leader in developing, producing and distributing electronic games for persuasion and instruction. Under terms of their agreement, Persuasive will create titles around newsworthy themes and these games will be available exclusively at AddictingGames.com and Shockwave.com(TM).
"The videogame is a great medium for showing how things work in the world -- or how they don't work, about what's wrong with them," said Ian Bogost Ph.D, founding partner of Persuasive Games. "The news is constantly changing, and games give us a new way to understand current events."
Initial titles at NewsGames will include the all new Airport Security game ( http://www.addictinggames.com/airportsecurity.html ) that lets users play the role of an airport security guard and see if they can keep track of rapidly changing baggage prohibitions. Sparked by the serious terror scare in London, this game is typical of how online content can create an escape or at least a laugh around the most serious issues in the news. Other titles in the NewsGame channel have already proven to be huge hits. The Zidane Headbutt game was an international sensation, generating almost 4 million games plays in just a few weeks online. Cheney's Fury, a game that mocked our vice presidents errant shotgun blast and has seen 1.4 million game plays, also joins the cast of games available here. And Bush Backrub, a game that lampooned the President's awkward massaging of a European head of state and has seen more than 1 million game plays, is also at the new destination.
The popularity of these games has driven explosive growth for AddictingGames.com. According to MediaMetrix, traffic at AddictingGames.com doubled from 4.5 million unique visitors to 9 million since Atom purchased the site in October 2005.