An Alternate Reality for Education?: Lessons to be Learned from Online Immersive Games

An Alternate Reality for Education?: Lessons to be Learned from Online Immersive Games

Alex Moseley (University of Leicester, UK)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 19
DOI: 10.4018/ijgbl.2012070103
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Abstract

Drawing on a participatory study of the Perplex City alternate reality game, this paper considers the data obtained through participation and a detailed survey of the most engaged players, in order to determine the most engaging features and suggest methods for their transfer to educational contexts. Originally presented at a conference in 2008, this paper returns to the source data in more detail, incorporating reflection on other work in this area in the intervening years, and considers four areas in detail: engagement/motivation, narrative/story, problem solving/learning skills, and community/peer support. The survey data is presented and considered in full, from which seven key features are proposed which could be applied to educational contexts to achieve higher levels of engagement amongst learners.
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Alternate Reality Games

In 2006, when I began my study into ARGs, they were a relatively new phenomenon. Used, up to that point, for the promotion of films or video games (beginning with The Beast to promote the film A.I. in 2001, and including I Love Bees promoting the computer game Halo 2 in 2004); the first major non-promotional use, as a stand-alone commercial product, was Perplex City (2005-2007) which became the basis of my study.

Somewhat defying a short neat definition let us turn to two of the genre’s community sites to explain what an ARG involves:

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