Pervasive Game Design as an Artificial Teaching and Research Method

Pervasive Game Design as an Artificial Teaching and Research Method

Steffen Walz (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland) and Odilo Schoch (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Switzerland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-304-3.ch012
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Abstract

Today and in the future, architectural students must be prepared for designing both physical and adaptive, computer-integrated, that is: “hybrid reality” spaces. The question is: How do we easily and effectively convey architecturally relevant theories and practices of pervasive computing in teaching? In this paper, we present an instructional model that is a possible answer. During a semester-long design class, we supervised an interdisciplinary group of architecture and computer science students who worked together on a serious pervasive game prototype, which we will refer to as “ETHGame”. The class culminated in a two-week intensive workshop and a presentation before school executives involved in strategic e-learning projects. The resulting interactive prototype takes advantage of our university’s extensive wireless local area network infrastructure (> 250 access points), allowing for player geo-positioning, location-based learning and servicing, as well as mediated communication. ETHGame transforms the school’s campus into a knowledge space, with key locations issuing position dependent and position relevant questions to players. ETHGame involves participants in an academic quiz by the way of a given university place, rewarding them for collaborating both face-to-face and Online. The game helps players build a collective academic and spatiotemporal identity whilst being immersed in a sentient environment. Thus, in this chapter we introduce serious pervasive game design as a novel design, research, and teaching paradigm for Computer Aided Architectural Design (CAAD), as well as an e-learning design strategy.

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