Mashed-pulp paper, meet the Xbox

Another day, another gamer.

Seriously.

Yesterday, it was Anne Derryberry, today it’s Susan Hassler.

Hassler, the editor-in-chief of Spectrum magazine for IEEE, shared her thoughts at MU today.

The IEEE has nothing to do with the battle rage of an Aztec warlord.  It’s an engineering and technology association that has nearly 400,000 members in 160 countries.

Hassler acknowledged that due to Spectrum’s trade publication status, it has the potential to prosper in print.  But the magazine is steadily embracing new technologies.

“If you are just a print person right now, you are kind of a dinosaur.”

She said the editorial staff has had discussions of ethics and standards for blogging and tweeting.  Their reporters and editors have backpacks full of equipment instead of a standard pad and pencil, and the journalists are expected to bring back a collection of media for a story, she said.

“It can’t just be 2000 words each. It has to be radio, video – the website demands new content all the time.”

When she mentioned incorporating a “serious game” into the magazine’s arsenal of distribution channels, the other editors were hesitant.

“My editors were extremely skeptical about this.”

Spectrum brought in Jane McGonigal to create a massive multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) to coincide with the magazine’s June blowout on water and energy.

After spreading the word via social media for 72 hours, the game went global, attracting 1300 people.  The results turned heads in the editorial department, and Hassler said the level of excitement cranked up significantly with the success.

“Imagine if we’d had two weeks” to advertise the game, she said.

Now playing at a media outlet near you: serious games, global fun and real learning.

On another note, today is National Punctuation Day.  Special thanks to Berkley for that tidbit.

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