Vajk Pomichal, Andrej Trnka
Recent serious events, such as the coronavirus pandemic and the war conflict in Ukraine, have significantly increased the amount of fake news in the online space. This news contributes to society’s radicalization, destabilizes democratic regimes, and can result in violence and damage to health and property. The most effective approach to address fake news is prevention and the education associated with it. The current education system is not ready for these challenges, which is why more and more attention is being paid to alternative solutions such as game-based learning. Game-based learning enables the acquisition of new knowledge and skills in a fun yet effective way. These games include a game developed by Impact Games studio named Follow me, which is focused on developing critical thinking skills in the context of countering fake news. This study aims to validate the contribution of the game Follow me in building resilience to fake news through an experiment on a sample of 130 secondary school students from six different schools. The results suggest that although there was no global statistically significant improvement measured in students’ ability to recognize fake news, students are healthily skeptical of information, this is also indicated by the fact that on average they were more likely to label news as untrustworthy despite varying attitudes towards the selected topics. We also managed to make findings based on the data acquired from this experiment, which provide a deeper look into students’ attitudes toward fake news and therefore can improve games and experiments prepared in the future.
Critical Thinking. Educational Games. Fake News. Game-based Learning. Hoaxes.