Think you have a handle on what's real information and what's fake when it comes to Covid-19? Are you aware of the consequences of sharing wrong information on social media?

Over a year into the pandemic, Malaysia has seen the number of infections and deaths soar. Rising cases, and the resulting fears and anxieties have unfortunately spurred the spread of misleading and/or deliberately false information.

Realising the extent of the infodemic, local group the Malaysia Information Literacy Education (MILE) has created a fun, simple browser game on the different forms of disinformation and how they spread. The role-playing game allows Malaysians to play the game from the perspectives of the victims and creator of “fake news”.

Funded by the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) and illustrated by Studio Behind 90, 'Choices I Make' is a choose-your-own-adventure game which allows players to take on the personalities of three very different Malaysians – a retired satay seller, a college student and an online game creator.

Inspired by real-life events, the game aims to educate players on fake news, fact-checking and content farms, as well as the legal and criminal consequences of spreading fake news.

"Malaysia still has a ways to go to tackling the issue of disinformation, and instil critical thinking and information literacy skills to adequately analyse, evaluate, and process the flood of online content we receive," said MILE co-founder Darshini Kandasamy.

"This situation is exacerbated with all the news, rumours and propaganda coming out amid the pandemic.

"We often make split-second decisions on whether to believe and share a piece of information. We may have the best of intentions but tend to share information without even knowing if it's true in the first place, and without fully understanding the ramifications of doing so," she added.

The game is available in four major languages – English, Bahasa Malaysia, Tamil and Chinese – and can be played both on desktop and mobile at www.choicesimake.com.

For enquiries or further information, please email milemsia@gmail.com.

To the uninitiated, The Malaysia Information Literacy Education (MILE) was founded in 2019 by three like-minded individuals in the media industry who know all too well the effects of misinformation and disinformation, especially when amplified by social media, bias, and the Internet.

It aims to bring media, information, and digital literacy awareness to Malaysian youth.

The founders of MILE are as follows:

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng is a journalist, media consultant, and trainer at Data-N. He currently conducts workshops for newsrooms and journalists around the region on the topics of data journalism, digital journalism and fact-checking.

Darshini Kandasamy is an award-winning journalist and news editor. She is currently editor of Between The Lines, a daily newsletter which provides special reports and daily contextualised summaries of the top Malaysian news.

Hazwany Jamaluddin is a salesperson, data consultant, and digital creator. She has multidisciplinary experience in project management, fundraising, and marketing. MILE can be contacted on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.