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Serious Games - ARGs

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Presented on 4/16/09

Serious Games - ARGs

  1. 1. Alternate Reality Games Chad Haefele Reference Librarian for Emerging Technologies, Davis Library [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. Example: The Dark Knight <ul><li>2008, http ://www.firstshowing.net/2009/02/26/viral-recap-the-dark-knights-why-so-serious-campaign/ </li></ul>
  7. 8. Grassroots/Self Sustaining ARGs <ul><li>Metacortechs – 2003 </li></ul><ul><li>Perplex City – 2005 </li></ul>
  8. 9. Vocabulary <ul><li>“ Rabbit Hole”: The method of an ARG’s launch </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>
  9. 10. Tiers of play Source: http://42entertainment.com/see.html
  10. 11. Real-world crossover
  11. 12. Anatomy of a puzzle <ul><li>Mysterious audio file: </li></ul>
  12. 13. One spectrograph later…
  13. 14. Anatomy of a live event
  14. 17. Synchronous vs. Asychronous <ul><li>Players can come together </li></ul><ul><li>Players can collaborate apart </li></ul>OR
  15. 18. ‘ Viral’ vs. ‘Experience’ vs. ‘Game’ <ul><li>Same tools used in all three </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Viral’ is often a one-time event or production </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>
  16. 19. 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>
  17. 20. Community
  18. 22. Serious Game: Year Zero <ul><li>2007, Nine Inch Nails </li></ul><ul><li>Civil Resistance </li></ul>
  19. 23. Serious Game: World Without Oil <ul><li>2007, non-promotional </li></ul><ul><li>http://worldwithoutoil.org/ </li></ul><ul><li>Asychronous, collaborative, explicitly educational </li></ul><ul><li>Worked on a limited budget </li></ul><ul><li>See also: RubysBequest.org </li></ul>
  20. 24. Serious game: Skeleton Chase <ul><li>IU Bloomington, Fall 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Structured around physical </li></ul><ul><li>fitness </li></ul>
  21. 25. Serious Game: Ghosts of a Chance <ul><li>Smithsonian, 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>www.GhostsofaChance.com </li></ul><ul><li>Final report: </li></ul><ul><li>http://ghostsofachance.com/GhostsofaChance_Report2.pdf </li></ul>
  22. 26. Teaching about issues <ul><li>Players re-interpret their lives </li></ul><ul><li>Imagining the issues inspires real thinking </li></ul>Source: WorldWithoutOil.org
  23. 27. Information 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>
  24. 28. 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: http://www.edge-online.com/blogs/the-power-tangential-learning ) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ARGs can take it even further: learn new skills along the way </li></ul>
  25. 29. So you want to play an ARG… <ul><li>Experiences: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.EagleEyeFreeFall.com </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.Love-Resurrected.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Community: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Unforums: http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>www.ARGN.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ongoing ARG: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.RubysBequest.org </li></ul></ul>
  26. 30. So you want to make an ARG... <ul><li>Allow far more time than you think </li></ul><ul><li>Complete everything in advance </li></ul><ul><li>Target a core audience to start </li></ul><ul><li>Structure around the tiers of play </li></ul><ul><li>Story is key </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor your community of players </li></ul>
  27. 31. 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- http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/8300.html </li></ul><ul><li>The Power of Tangential Learning - http://www.edge-online.com/blogs/the-power-tangential-learning </li></ul>

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