I launched my 3 months in the making Alternate Reality Game today and I think I may have done it a little too well. In the middle of a video they were watching I had an image break in and type messages to me like in The Matrix. Apparently I played it well because the kids were seriously worried. I checked the locks on the door and told them it was finally happening.

I passed out the attached packets and told them they had been chosen and I could tell them no more. If anyone is interested in following along feel free to use the clues in the packets to get started.

Today went well and I sure hope this works out.

Tags: alternate, game, gaming, reality

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I confessed to a few parents at Parent/Teacher night and they were all keen about the project. In terms of sustainability, I suspect that there is an inverse relationship between the age of the students and the long-term engagement in the ARG.

Also, because I felt like I needed to have an 'product' of their learning at the end of it all, it was pretty obvious that this was still 'just an assignment' but with more window dressing.

Not sure how to feel about it yet but I am looking forward to seeing what my students thought about it in a survey.
I've sent out a survey via google and I'll get back to you good folk with the feedback.
Kev, thanks for sharing this (and your survey results)! I especially liked the bit about using XBox LIVE to reach a character.

If you haven't already, I highly recommend checking out Why I Love Bees: A Case Study in Collective Intelligence Gaming, Jane McGonigal's chapter in The Ecology of Games: Connecting Youth, Games, and Learning, which the MacArthur Foundation made available for free through MIT Press.

One of my favorite quotes from it:

"The plausibility of so many diverse interpretations empowered players of all kinds of skill levels, natural abilities, inclinations, and interests to achieve success. This kind of massively inclusive engagement is increasingly vital as we think about the future of learning. It ensures that no player is left out of the game, no individual discouraged or excluded from the opportunity to contribute to participatory culture."

Andy
Thank you for that link! I can't wait to read every bit of it. Games in education has moved beyond interest into hobby for me so I can't get enough of those types of studies. I've read just about everything Amazon has to offer on the subject so this will be great!

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