NASAGA: Building a Better Reality, Together

NASAGA: Building a Better Reality, Together

NASAGA 2013: Building a Better Reality, Together: Alternate Reality Games as Shared Worlds

When trying to overcome a less-than-desirable reality–whether that is an underquipped classroom, a conference in need of an icebreaker, or a poor working environment–altering the perception of the space can help both learners and teachers re-envision the possibilities through a collaborative lens. Alternate Reality Games, built on a foundation of a shared story invading the physical world, cna provide a lens for reinventing a learning environment and changing the way participants see the everyday. We’ll build a collaborative story together, from brainstorming to “rabbit hole,” and discuss ways to make use of narrative models in this game form.

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Full examples (co-created with Amanda Visconti):

Games Invasion — http://thatcampgames.org/invasion/

THATCamp Quest — http://quest.thatcampgames.org/

Step One: Planning the Educational / Training Objectives

  • What knowledge do you want to apply or disseminate?
  • What skills do you want the learners to build? (personal, team, technical, communication?)
  • What are your learners’ experiences with games or stories? What game-like elements from their profession or scenarios can you harness for your fiction?

Step Two: Building the Rabbit Hole

  • What theme supports your learning objectives?
  • How can you use your existing environment?
  • How will users find their way down the rabbit hole?
  • (Think of Alice—why did she follow the white rabbit? The surprise of something unexpected?

Step Three: The Bread Crumb Trail

  • How will you communicate with and respond to the learners?
  • What information do the learners need to understand their task?
  • Where will information be placed in physical or virtual environments?
  • How will the actions and choices of learners change your story?

Step Four: The Final Obstacle

  • How will you communicate with and respond to the learners?
  • What information do the learners need to understand their task?
  • How can you provide feedback and responsiveness to their solution?

Step Five: Reflection and Transference of Skills

  • What follow-up activities can you plan to clarify the outcome?
  • How will you assess transference of learned skills?

Other Resources:

Alternate Reality Gaming Network – http://www.argn.com/

Think Transmedia – http://www.thinktransmedia.org/