Q: How do you make a video game about Ferguson?
A: You don't.
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Earlier this month, a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager named Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. What's happened since then has played out loudly on the small town's streets and echoed across national and social media.
Like millions of others, game creator and animator Nicky Case watched the events in Ferguson unfold over Twitter as citizen journalists sent out pictures, Vines, and by-the-second tweets. But Case was dismayed to find that Facebook's algorithms seemed to be hiding any news related to Ferguson from his feed, while Reddit users took to mocking journalists and protesters. Perhaps worst of all, some news organizations were trying hard to demonize the victim, Mike Brown, as a petty thief and drug addict who deserved those lethal bullets.
It brought Case to a realization: "Ferguson showed the world the best and worst in journalism." It ended up inspiring him to create what he knows: games.
After a few days of taking in the events at Ferguson, Case turned his thoughts into a succinct cartoon. He was inspired by an illustration he had seen that shows how the framing of a television camera can radically alter the story it depicts. (Both Case's image and its inspiration are the header for this piece.) Case's subsequent drawing was a context-specific update of the same idea, featuring a black citizen being beaten by a riot cop, but an inner frame makes it seem that the cop is the victim of the attack. After tweeting the image himself, Case saw his drawing shared by others, amounting to more than 3,000 retweets in just a few hours. His image sat among many others on Twitter that had become popular for their perspicuous message regarding the "Ferguson narrative" and the issues it brought to the fore.