This Simple Game Will Completely Change the Way You Think About Headlines!
Ugh. Sure a headline’s got to be catchy, but does it have to be extremely clickbaity? Web game Headlines Against Humanity turns the worst hyperbolic headlines into a fun minigame by challenging players to identify which terrible headlines are actual articles on Buzzfeed, Upworthy and the like, and which are parodies of the style.
Besides being a fun game, it’s very interesting to see the formula that goes into crafting a perfectly tweetable, shareable, clickbait sentence. Headline writing isn’t really one of my skills, and if left to my own devices, my Absolute articles would be called things like ”I Liked This Game, Maybe You Will Too” and “New App That Seems Cool.” (Sorry, editors.) Playing a couple rounds of Headlines Against Humanity really shows just how those over-the-top, must-see, cliffhanger headlines are formed… and it highlights the difference between informative headline writing and clickbait.
The offline version of this game (that I just invented) involves telling your friends about mundane events in over-the-top, clickbaiting headline style (“Seven Fascinating Facts About Refilling The Printer Paper!”), and enjoying their reactions. Bonus points if they respond in kind (“This One Coworker Will Completely Change How You Look At Printer Paper! Must See!”).