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Taming the Butterfly presentation at ARGFest-O-Con


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Taming the Butterfly is a week-long ARG designed to engage diverse corners of an Indiana community in improving their digital fluencies. We use a narrative involving a time traveler from 2036, reaching back to citizens today to fix her world. Small groups are assigned and rewarded for meaningful online activity, including the successful completion of daily puzzles, as they develop a plan to shape the future. A series of half-hour workshops entice digital novices into the game.

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Taming the Butterfly presentation at ARGFest-O-Con

  1. 1. Taming the Butterfly: Improving Digital Fluency in a Community with Time Travel #ttb2036Kevin Makice @kmakice | kevin.makice@socialens.comChristian Briggs @briggzay | | @SociaLens © SociaLens, Inc.
  2. 2. Taming the Butterfly: How to Design, Prep, Launch and Run an ARG for the First Time Ever In Five Weeks With Two People and No Resources While Dissertating for a Ph.D., Fending Off Poverty, and Coordinating a TEDx Conference During Graduation Week of a Major University on Little or No Sleep in Support of a Mission to Help Organizations (Including Cities) Thrive in the Digital Age Oh, Dear God, What Have We Done #ttb2036Kevin Makice @kmakice | kevin.makice@socialens.comChristian Briggs @briggzay | | @SociaLens © SociaLens, Inc.
  3. 3. 3 Image: a Choice © SociaLens, Inc.
  4. 4. 4 Once upon a time … SociaLens created this game, “Taming the Butterfly,” as a way to work as a community to improve digital fluency. We want Bloomington, Indiana to be better able to connect through online tools in ways that support communal goals. As we launched our game, something strange happened.“The Red Pill” © SociaLens, Inc.
  5. 5. 5“The Red Pill” © SociaLens, Inc.
  6. 6. 6This wasn’t an isolated incident. Dorthea Nie © SociaLens, Inc.
  7. 7. 7 We had a theory. What if we created some accounts for Dorthea, in our present time. Would she be able to hack those? We set up the accounts, and the next morning …Dorthea Nie © SociaLens, Inc.
  8. 8. 8“The Blue Pill” Rewind. We need some context. © SociaLens, Inc.
  9. 9. 9 Purpose Strategy+ Structure Tools People Media+ Skills + Technology RelationshipsSeeking Alignment None of these exists in a vacuum © SociaLens, Inc.
  10. 10. 10 Lessen my goal expenses Home-grown Low what I provide produce energy costs Growing Storing Managing Wrangling processes I do Crops Food Energy Hardware things I must have Land Skills Hardware Strategy is a statement about where we want to go,What is a strategy? and how we intend to get there © SociaLens, Inc.
  11. 11. 11 Lessen my goal Veggies per month expenses Dollars per month Home-grown Low what I provide produce energy costs Growing Storing Managing Wrangling processes I do crops Food Energy Hardware Efficiency of my growing process things I must have Land Skills Hardware Quality of my skills Specify how to measure successWhat is a strategy? and who is responsible for monitoring progress © SociaLens, Inc.
  12. 12. 12 Strategy should : 1. Be simple and memorable 2. Shape everyday decisionsBreathing Strategy © SociaLens, Inc.
  13. 13. 13 SociaLens has grounded our practice in the NobelNobel Foundation Prize-winning framework of Lin Ostrom. © SociaLens, Inc.
  14. 14. 14 Understandthe Situation © SociaLens, Inc.
  15. 15. 15Understandthe Trends © SociaLens, Inc.
  16. 16. 16Shared Goals © SociaLens, Inc.
  17. 17. 17 Skills andRelationships © SociaLens, Inc.
  18. 18. 18 Purpose Strategy+ Structure Tools People Media+ Skills + Technology Relationships Preparation Alignment only makes it easieris Not Enough to put things in motion. © SociaLens, Inc.
  19. 19. 19Action © SociaLens, Inc.
  20. 20. 20Breathe Strategy © SociaLens, Inc.
  21. 21. 21Measure Progress © SociaLens, Inc.
  22. 22. 22Communicate Progress © SociaLens, Inc.
  23. 23. 23Modify Goals © SociaLens, Inc.
  24. 24. 24 Engage an entire community in Preparation,the idea while nudging them into action. © SociaLens, Inc.
  26. 26. 26 We have a player from 2036 helping play our game. • Dorthea’s connection to 2011 is shaky. • She can’t travel back in time, but she can hack digital accounts and send messages. • We may have a way to communicate with her using real messages (so ask questions). • Dorthea will be our eyes and ears in the future. • Solving puzzles will help locate an information treasure to help with Ignite.“The Red Pill” © SociaLens, Inc.
  27. 27. 27 What is really happening: 1. It is a week-long game. 2. It involves working with others in small groups. 3. Things will happen each day. 4. Give as much time as is comfortable. (15 to 120 minutes each day) 5. There is a presentation at the end.“The Blue Pill” © SociaLens, Inc.
  28. 28. 28 Connect Stay in touch with the other members of your team. Score Earn points for your team by being active. Learn Attend daily training sessions, in person or online. Imagine the Future Present a plan to address a specific problem affecting Bloomington 2036.Things to Do The big activities for the week © SociaLens, Inc.
  29. 29. 29 To save the future, we are focusing on the following broad themes: 1. Global Nation changing the world due to global political, economic, and religious influences 2. Inhabitants supporting life (human and otherwise) by addressing extinction, population, and health concerns 3. Resources making the most of what we have to create energy, technology and information 4. Mindset the future of thinking and being, including ethics, culture and expression of selfFour Themes Experts recruited to help guide discussion © SociaLens, Inc.
  30. 30. 30 Primary online spaces: • (Forum and Blog) • (local wiki) • The Herald-Times online (extending our daily discussions) • Dorthea’s online presence (go find it) Use available digital tools to communicate with each other.Where to go © SociaLens, Inc.
  31. 31. 31 Primary physical spaces: • MCPL training sessions (good place for face-to-face) • Puzzle locations (solve puzzles to get coordinates) • Local restaurants and offices • Buskirk-Chumley Box Office (deliver messages to Dorthea) • City Hall Council Chambers, 6-9p, May 12Where to go © SociaLens, Inc.
  32. 32. Thursday, May 12, 2011 A treasure to find at the end of the puzzle.Hello, my name isDorthea Nie.I’m from thefuture. need your help. Play the video. Check the notes … Taming the Butterfly 32
  33. 33. 33 Well Did We Some reflections and lessons learned Flap Our Wings © SociaLens, Inc.
  34. 34. 34 Looking back on … 1. The Concept 2. Participation 3. Improved Skills 4. Meeting Places 5. VisioningCritique We learned a lot from our pilot game © SociaLens, Inc.
  35. 35. 35 The ConceptHow Well Did We Flap Our Wings © SociaLens, Inc.
  36. 36. 36 The Concept One flap of a butterfly wing could changethe metaphor the course of weather forever — Edward Lorenz © SociaLens, Inc.
  37. 37. 37 The ConceptThe Time Rope A plausible theory to constrain our interactions. © SociaLens, Inc.
  38. 38. 38 The ConceptBeloved Dorthea © SociaLens, Inc.
  39. 39. 39 ParticipationHow Well Did We Flap Our Wings © SociaLens, Inc.
  40. 40. Play the game Learn digital skills Engage the community Change Bloomington 40 Participation Motivations to Play These are complementary © SociaLens, Inc.
  41. 41. 41 Participation Never schedule a game Timing during graduation weekend © SociaLens, Inc.
  42. 42. 42 Improved SkillsHow Well Did We Flap Our Wings © SociaLens, Inc.
  43. 43. 43Literacy FluencyKnowing what and how to do things Knowing when and why to do things Fluency is having the right knowledge, skills,Becoming Fluent and mindset to achieve what you expect. © SociaLens, Inc.
  44. 44. 44 Improved SkillsDigital Literacy Angela made our week. © SociaLens, Inc.
  45. 45. 45 Improved SkillsDigital Fluency In between Gating and Tethering © SociaLens, Inc.
  46. 46. 46 Didn’t include in TTB First Exposure (for many) Improved SkillsSurveying Change © SociaLens, Inc.
  47. 47. 47 Meeting PlacesHow Well Did We Flap Our Wings © SociaLens, Inc.
  48. 48. 48 Meeting PlacesOnline Should have custom built the forum © SociaLens, Inc.
  49. 49. 49 Meeting Places Offline © SociaLens, Inc.
  50. 50. 50 Meeting PlacesNew Connections © SociaLens, Inc.
  51. 51. 51 VisioningHow Well Did We Flap Our Wings © SociaLens, Inc.
  52. 52. 52 VisioningProvoke Reflection © SociaLens, Inc.
  53. 53. 53 VisioningStart Conversation © SociaLens, Inc.
  54. 54. 54 VisioningShared Plans © SociaLens, Inc.
  55. 55. 55Ongoing Process To have impact, the game needs revisiting © SociaLens, Inc.
  56. 56. 56The Herald-Times CFC PropertiesCity of Bloomington Women Writing for a ChangeMonroe County Public Library IU Office of Creative ServicesBloomingpedia Bloomington Community Bike ProjectStudio Cypher Bloomington Volunteer NetworkBloomingsoft Bloomington Chamber of CommerceTrainers & ExpertsGame ParticipantsKaylee Spivey (as Dorothea) We Had Help © SociaLens, Inc.
  57. 57. Questions? #ttb2036Kevin Makice @kmakice | kevin.makice@socialens.comChristian Briggs @briggzay | | @SociaLens © SociaLens, Inc.