Ethics Table Graphics

(Click for larger image)

The Ethics Table, at the Newseum in Washington DC, is situated in the display section on Journalism and Ethics. The table is a game where players are asked various ethical questions that journalist face in their work. As players answer questions correctly, a newspaper fills up with articles. The first ‘side’ to complete a newspaper spread wins. The table can be played by up to 8 players, with up to 16 people playing together.

To begin, a player touches one of the eight available ‘plates’. The table is based upon the principle of ‘hot-spotting’, which means any gesture will be registered as a ‘click’, with hotspots changing based upon the game’s context.

As a new player starts the game, one of the ‘avatars’ on the table approaches them and says ‘Grab me!’. This only happens when a player begins. Throughout the game, contextual help is given to the players.

Once an avatar is grabbed, their question appears on player’s plate. All questions in the game have either a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer…

If the answer is correct, the avatar does a dance of joy, hi-fives.. and moves to the side of the plate. At the same time, each correct question fills up a space on the newspaper. You can see by the pile under the question how many answers were correct.

If the answer is incorrect, the avatar becomes dejected, or shrugs, and walks away from the plate. The player chooses a new avatar to question. Each avatar carries a card of a particular color. Each color represents a spot on the newspaper that has to be filled.

Sequences of states of the newspaper in the center of the table:
(left) The newspaper when the game has started.
(second to left) The newspaper gradually fills with articles as the players answer.
(middle) The newspaper has completely filled with articles.
(second to right) When a side has won, the newspaper joyfully spins.
(right) If a side loses, the text looks sad and the newspaper recedes.