‘Gamifying’ World News: Fantasy Geopolitics Uses GDELT to Teach High Schoolers About Global Events

We’re hugely excited that Fantasy Geopolitics is now using GDELT as part of its daily country ranking! Launched in 2009 by high school social studies teacher Eric Nelson, Fantasy Geopolitics brings many of the concepts of Fantasy Football to the realm of high school social studies and global events, “gamifying news to get [students] over the hump and not see reading the news as some difficult task…revolutioniz[ing] how students learn about the world.”

In a nutshell, students select a “draft” team of countries and are awarded points based on how those countries progress over the coming weeks or months in the news. Historically, Fantasy Geopolitics relied on the number of mentions of each country in the New York Times each day, but with the addition of GDELT, it is now taking into account the intensity of conflict and cooperation activity in each country and the tone of global media coverage about it. In essence, by turning global events into an active learning experience, Fantasy Geopolitics gets students to become more enthusiastic consumers of world news coverage and to learn more about the world’s countries as they select their draft picks. As Eric puts it, “if you want to win [the game], you have to be aware of what's happening in the world and adjust your team accordingly.”

Its deeply exciting to see GDELT being used to help high school students become more aware of and engaged with the world around them!

Visit the Fantasy Geopolitics Website

Read the Mashable Article about the Project

Read the CNN Article About the Project