Al Jazeera game simulates journalists' risky role in Syrian cyber conflict
News organisation Al Jazeera has launched a new interactive and educational mobile game #Hacked - Syria's Electronic Armies, in which the player assumes the role of an investigative journalist tasked with discovering the identities of pro-Syrian government hackers.
Players must interview fictional white and black hat hackers, making key journalistic decisions while avoiding getting hacked themselves. According to Al Jazeera, the game is heavily inspired by its own investigations into the ongoing Syrian military conflict and corresponding cyber-war between the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and anti-government rebels. The app even includes links to real social media profiles of hacktivists.
"We want people to know this is not a fictional game,” said senior producer Juliana Ruhfus in an Al Jazeera article. “This is real life. This is how the Syrian cyber-war has unfolded over the past couple of years. People have been arrested for doing things that we portray in this game.”