'BusinessWeek' creates interactive gaming site

NEW YORK: BusinessWeek.com has launched an interactive section to promote its special report on the video-game industry.

NEW YORK: BusinessWeek.com has launched an interactive section to promote its special report on the video-game industry.

The Arcade, found at www.businessweek.com/innovate/bwarcade/, features 20 video games from independent developers as well as a discussion forum.

The editorial feature, launched March 24, is targeting young, tech-savvy readers, said Business-Week.com editor-in-chief, John Byrne, who added that it can be expanded if necessary. The magazine can also use the infrastructure for online investing and management courses, he added.

BusinessWeek.com, a McGraw-Hill property, is pitching the enhancement primarily to blogs and Web sites that cover Web 2.0 and media focused on the gaming industry. The online publication is also relying on search engines to drive traffic to the Arcade, Byrne said.

BusinessWeek.com is working with AOR Trylon SMR on the effort, which has an undisclosed budget. An internal communications team handles PR for the print version of BusinessWeek, explained Nicole Smith, Trylon account director.

BusinessWeek is not the first financially-focused publication to enhance its online experience through unconventional methods. Last year, The Economist launched a series of debates tackling education and other prominent topics on its Web site, http://www.economist.com/. The publication also partnered with Chevron to provide content for "Energyville," an interactive game found at willyoujoinus.com, that focuses on energy education.

In addition to promoting the report, BusinessWeek.com also created the Arcade to generate online discussion of the video- game industry, Byrne said.

"The goal of the Arcade ties in with our strategy: To have the deepest and most meaningful reader engagement of any business site. It's frustrating to read about a subject like this one and not be able to interact, to play," he said, via e-mail. "The Arcade was designed not only to curate a selection of games, but also start a conversation about them. [It] was built with a pervasive commenting system in order for users to be able to talk about major industry trends, specific developers, and specific games. We hope to generate a lot of discussion."

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