So, I terrified my students today... (ARG Launched!)

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.
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    Here's a tip I learned today (the hard way!)

    If you ever feel like your kids are losing interest just set up a clue that leaves you personally baffled. This happened to me today and the kids now are not so sure I'm running the show. They were convinced up to today that I was behind everything but since I messed up a clue and completely got us stuck they aren't sure.

    Truth is, I just blew it!

    Now I've got to scramble to find a fix that fits within the storyline. Oh well, I will and now they are more interested than ever! Not bad for a project going on almost 3 months now.
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      Aaron Maurer

      My interest in my ARG dwindled quickly. I had promoted my ARG to all 300 plus sixth graders in my school(I only teach 100 of them) and had about 130 students take the packet. From there I currently only have about 7 students still involved. I was just curious what techniques you used to keep the interest high. I send out a weekly letter from Agent Hermes every Monday in our school announcements. Part of me thinks it was just bad timing as I promoted this as the weather went from cold to warm here in Iowa and we are getting ready to take the 100 kids camping for a week.
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        Andy Blanco

        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."