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Putting Washington D.C. Inside the Matrix

CES_second_life_KoolAid_001.jpgAs we noted yesterday, writers are scrambling to find new opportunities during this disastrous recession: from videogame scripts to Amazon Kindle ebooks to blogging programs to television writing.

Today, FishbowlNY spotted a smart project mounted by journalism professor David Johnson, combining journalistic research and video games. Johnson has applied for $987,000 in Knight Foundation money to build a virtual version of Washington D.C. for journalists and gamers to explore together. It’s a model that writers could use to map fictional space as well, from James Joyce’s Dublin to J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

From the application: “The tools and methods to comprehend this complicated picture fully exist in the game space, but have yet to be tapped using real data in real time. This project will build a working ‘SimCity’ model of Washington, DC, visualizing the federal buildings and placing avatars of elected and appointed officials in and around them.”

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