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What we were trying to do with #Hacked was on one level replicate the journalistic journey...I felt like we really hadn’t heard this story. The media narrative had stopped with the amazing Arab Spring. All conflicts that we’re facing in the future will have this cyber element.Juliana Ruhfus, author.
In #Hacked, an interactive journalism game launched by Al Jazeera English, you have been tasked by reporter Juliana Ruhfus with investigating the latest battlefield in the ongoing Syrian civil war: cyberwar. You have five days to investigate and produce a report on this hidden face of the conflict to present at the United Nations. Along the way, you will meet and interview activists and hackers who will guide your research and explain how hacking has affected the war, receive feedback via messages from Ruhfus and check live news feeds related to the conflict—all while trying to avoid being hacked yourself.
The interaction and decision making in this messaging app-based game is designed to mimic the process of investigative journalism and the characters you meet are based on people Ruhfus has met in the field whose identities cannot be revealed for their safety. While avoiding simulated hacks all based on real hacking that is occurring in Syria, you’ll learn about cyber-security and the latest dangers in a deadly conflict where protecting oneself now means dodging viruses and malware as well as bombs.