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Presented to UNC Games4Learning group, 10/3/08

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  1. 1. Alternate Reality Games Chad Haefele [email_address] Slides online:
  2. 2. The Beast <ul><li>2001, A.I. Movie poster: </li></ul>
  3. 4. What is an ARG? <ul><li>An immersive storytelling experience </li></ul><ul><li>Multimedia </li></ul><ul><li>The real world is the publishing medium </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborative </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ No one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pierre Levy, Collective Intelligence </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 5. Example: I Love Bees <ul><li>2004, promoted Halo 2 </li></ul>
  5. 6. Example: Last Call Poker <ul><li>2005, promoted Gun </li></ul>
  6. 7. Grassroots/Self Sustaining ARGs <ul><li>Metacortechs – 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Perplex City – 2005 </li></ul>
  7. 8. Vocabulary <ul><li>“ Rabbit Hole”: The method of an ARG’s debut </li></ul><ul><li>“ Puppet Master” (PM): A person running an ARG </li></ul><ul><li>“ This is not a game”: Many ARGs don’t explicitly admit they are games. </li></ul>
  8. 9. Tiers of play Source:
  9. 10. Real-world crossover
  10. 11. Anatomy of a puzzle <ul><li>Mysterious audio file: </li></ul>
  11. 12. One spectrograph later…
  12. 13. Anatomy of a live event
  13. 16. Synchronous vs. Asychronous <ul><li>Players can come together </li></ul><ul><li>Players can collaborate apart </li></ul>OR
  14. 17. ‘Experience’ vs. ‘Game’ <ul><li>Same tools used in both </li></ul><ul><li>‘Experience’ is a trail of puzzles & interactions, linear, repeatable </li></ul><ul><li>‘Game’ is more collaborative, longer term </li></ul>
  15. 18. Why participate? <ul><li>Swag! </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition </li></ul><ul><li>Immersion </li></ul><ul><li>‘Wow’ factor </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting stories </li></ul>
  16. 19. Community
  17. 21. Rise of the Serious Game <ul><li>Primary purpose: to teach or provoke thought </li></ul><ul><li>Generally applied to video games - until recently </li></ul><ul><li>Repurposes the tools of entertainment </li></ul>
  18. 22. Year Zero <ul><li>2007, Nine Inch Nails </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Resistance </li></ul>
  19. 23. World Without Oil <ul><li>2007, non-promotional </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Asychronous, collaborative, explicitly educational </li></ul><ul><li>Worked on a limited budget </li></ul>
  20. 24. Teachable moment: Issues <ul><li>Players re-interpret their lives </li></ul><ul><li>Imagining the issues inspires real thinking </li></ul>Source:
  21. 25. Teachable moment: Info Literacy <ul><li>ACRL Info Literacy standards (in part): Students should be able to… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Recognize that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new information.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Identify the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (multimedia, database, website, book)&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Create a system for organizing information&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Utilize technology for studying the interaction of ideas and other phenomena&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Validate understanding and interpretation of the information through discourse with other individuals…&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Apply new and prior information to the planning and creation of a particular product or performance.&quot; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;Manipulate digital text, images, and data, as needed, transferring them from their original locations and formats to a new context.&quot; </li></ul></ul>
  22. 26. Teachable Moment: Tangential Learning <ul><li>Expose a player to new ideas and potential for learning, without forcing it on them </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(source: ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ARGs can take it even further: learn new skills along the way </li></ul>
  23. 27. Teachable moment: Player-created resources <ul><li>Wikis </li></ul><ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Photoshop </li></ul><ul><li>Art </li></ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul>
  24. 28. Why run a campus ARG? <ul><li>Good method for cross-disciplinary cooperation and learning </li></ul><ul><li>Participatory/Collaborative learning </li></ul><ul><li>Fosters community among students </li></ul><ul><li>Social issues to be addressed </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Drinking, stress, relationships, etc. </li></ul></ul>
  25. 29. Advantages for running a UNC ARG <ul><li>Centralized player base </li></ul><ul><li>Diversity of academic programs </li></ul><ul><li>Blanket wi-fi </li></ul><ul><li>Rich campus history </li></ul><ul><li>Funding possibilities! </li></ul>
  26. 30. For further reading <ul><li>Dena, Christy. &quot;Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games.&quot; Convergence 14.1 (2008): 41-57. </li></ul><ul><li>Kim, Jeffrey Y., Jonathan P. Allen, and Elan Lee. &quot;ALTERNATE REALITY GAMING. (Cover Story).&quot; Communications of the ACM 51.2 (2008): 36-42. </li></ul><ul><li>Szulborski, Dave. This is Not a Game : A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming . [Pennsylvania]: New-Fiction Pub., 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>IU Bloomington gets $185k grant- </li></ul><ul><li>The Power of Tangential Learning - </li></ul><ul><li>Try it yourself </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>