The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Why The Post is investing in a games platform

A look at The Post’s games platform which was built in-house.

Readers may have noticed an increased number of quizzes and games appearing on The Washington Post. The Post’s in-house games team has made it even easier for reporters and editors to create and embed quizzes by creating a set of tools so anyone in the newsroom can quickly create standard quizzes, personality quizzes, timed quizzes, user polls, brackets, random name generators and ballots.

“Games and quizzes are fun, but they can also be a powerfully interactive storytelling tool,” said Greg Barber, Director of Digital News Projects. “Quizzes are like infographics or other visual elements—they add to the story by allowing users to experience it in a different way.”

The games platform is built entirely in-house, and will be offered as part of Arc, The Post’s custom publishing platform.

By building these tools ourselves, it enables our writers to create games as quickly as they can write articles,” said product manager Alex Remington. “And because it’s all built in-house, our engineers can rapidly build and experiment with new features.”

Quizzes can be an integral part of storytelling. For instance, The Post asked readers to solve Common Core math questions to illustrate the changes made to the tests last year, and to show how difficult the new tests can be. Other times, quizzes can be a fun way for readers to test their knowledge or they can complement a major news story.

Barber and Remington’s teams started by rolling out a dashboard for quizzes in May 2014, and just this week introduced a new map quiz platform that Post reporters and editors can begin using immediately. A test case can be seen here: Guess the only three countries without U.S. embassies.

About Arc: Arc is a powerful suite of publishing tools custom built for the modern newsroom by engineers at The Washington Post. Each of the tools work seamlessly together and can function individually, based on a newsroom’s needs. Each tool in Arc has a team of dedicated engineers devoted to advancing the product and rapidly responding to changes in the digital news landscape. Learn More.