Serious Games - ARGs

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Presented on 4/16/09

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  • 1. Alternate Reality Games Chad Haefele Reference Librarian for Emerging Technologies, Davis Library [email_address] Slides online:
  • 2. The Beast
    • 2001, A.I. Movie poster:
  • 3.
  • 4. What is an ARG?
    • An immersive storytelling experience
    • Multimedia
    • The real world is the publishing medium
    • Collaborative
      • No one knows everything, everyone knows something, all knowledge resides in humanity
        • Pierre Levy, Collective Intelligence
  • 5. Example: I Love Bees
    • 2004, promoted Halo 2
  • 6. Example: Last Call Poker
    • 2005, promoted Gun
  • 7. Example: The Dark Knight
    • 2008, http ://www.firstshowing.net/2009/02/26/viral-recap-the-dark-knights-why-so-serious-campaign/
  • 8. Grassroots/Self Sustaining ARGs
    • Metacortechs 2003
    • Perplex City 2005
  • 9. Vocabulary
    • Rabbit Hole: The method of an ARGs launch
    • Puppet Master (PM): A person running an ARG
    • This is not a game: Many ARGs dont explicitly admit they are games.
  • 10. Tiers of play Source: http://42entertainment.com/see.html
  • 11. Real-world crossover
  • 12. Anatomy of a puzzle
    • Mysterious audio file:
  • 13. One spectrograph later
  • 14. Anatomy of a live event
  • 15.
  • 16.
  • 17. Synchronous vs. Asychronous
    • Players can come together
    • Players can collaborate apart
    OR
  • 18. Viral vs. Experience vs. Game
    • Same tools used in all three
    • Viral is often a one-time event or production
    • Experience is a trail of puzzles & interactions, linear, repeatable
    • Game is more collaborative, longer term
  • 19. Why participate?
    • Swag!
    • Recognition
    • Immersion
    • Wow factor
    • Interesting stories
  • 20. Community
  • 21.
  • 22. Serious Game: Year Zero
    • 2007, Nine Inch Nails
    • Civil Resistance
  • 23. Serious Game: World Without Oil
    • 2007, non-promotional
    • http://worldwithoutoil.org/
    • Asychronous, collaborative, explicitly educational
    • Worked on a limited budget
    • See also: RubysBequest.org
  • 24. Serious game: Skeleton Chase
    • IU Bloomington, Fall 2008
    • Structured around physical
    • fitness
  • 25. Serious Game: Ghosts of a Chance
    • Smithsonian, 2008
    • www.GhostsofaChance.com
    • Final report:
    • http://ghostsofachance.com/GhostsofaChance_Report2.pdf
  • 26. Teaching about issues
    • Players re-interpret their lives
    • Imagining the issues inspires real thinking
    Source: WorldWithoutOil.org
  • 27. Information Literacy
    • ACRL Info Literacy standards (in part): Students should be able to
      • "Recognize that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new information."
      • "Identify the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (multimedia, database, website, book)"
      • "Create a system for organizing information"
      • "Utilize technology for studying the interaction of ideas and other phenomena"
      • "Validate understanding and interpretation of the information through discourse with other individuals"
      • "Apply new and prior information to the planning and creation of a particular product or performance."
      • "Manipulate digital text, images, and data, as needed, transferring them from their original locations and formats to a new context."
  • 28. Tangential Learning
    • Expose a player to new ideas and potential for learning, without forcing it on them
      • (source: http://www.edge-online.com/blogs/the-power-tangential-learning )
    • ARGs can take it even further: learn new skills along the way
  • 29. So you want to play an ARG
    • Experiences:
      • www.EagleEyeFreeFall.com
      • www.Love-Resurrected.com
    • Community:
      • Unforums: http://forums.unfiction.com/forums/
      • www.ARGN.com
    • Ongoing ARG:
      • www.RubysBequest.org
  • 30. So you want to make an ARG...
    • Allow far more time than you think
    • Complete everything in advance
    • Target a core audience to start
    • Structure around the tiers of play
    • Story is key
    • Monitor your community of players
  • 31. For further reading
    • Dena, Christy. "Emerging Participatory Culture Practices: Player-Created Tiers in Alternate Reality Games." Convergence 14.1 (2008): 41-57.
    • Kim, Jeffrey Y., Jonathan P. Allen, and Elan Lee. "ALTERNATE REALITY GAMING. (Cover Story)." Communications of the ACM 51.2 (2008): 36-42.
    • Szulborski, Dave. This is Not a Game : A Guide to Alternate Reality Gaming . [Pennsylvania]: New-Fiction Pub., 2005.
    • IU Bloomington gets $185k grant- http://newsinfo.iu.edu/news/page/normal/8300.html
    • The Power of Tangential Learning - http://www.edge-online.com/blogs/the-power-tangential-learning