Tuesday, April 29, 2008

ARG for orientation, socialisation and induction - Scott Wilson, U of Bolton

Alternate Reality - sci-fi history; another way of experiencing the world; Urban play, subway parties (transport parties), challenges and activities that develop awareness of the urban environment and enable confidence and movement
These urban games are almost
ARGs turn the real world into a game. Nokia and Microsoft have used them as marketing devices getting people to buy-in in a deep way.
Now all kinds of new generes but very few in education.
Collection fiction project called 'World about Oil' where people adopt characters.
Flash mobs.He's saying that it was actually Perplex City that inspired their project.
Challenges are undertaken: solitary, social, real life, online
They use existing and simple technologies and can promote greater literacy of these (email, IM, forums, etc)
Can be fun - or scary and alienating if you don't design them well.
ARG terminology - Puppetmaster (organiser, designer, facilitator)
Can use existing non-game-like services and incorporate them (eg Bb I suppose)
From ARG to ARGOSI (this project):
Developing confidence and reducing anxiety in induction. Teaming up with library to develop lit skills in an interesting way.
Traditional games are very expensive to develop. ARGs affordable but demand creativity.
Brighton game: Who Is Herring Hale? (not funded) (see http://community.brighton.ac.uk/kh32/presentations/2)
She found great satisfaction and sense of community. Non-traditional academic backgrounds. International students liked it.
It WILL be a niche activity he says. Don't expect everyone to take part.
ARGOSI is based at Manchester. Not exclusively for students... because it's game.
Will use blogs, email, mobile phones for pictures.
Pupetmaster team: researchers, support staff, student volunteers
Game site: challenge and leader board.
Reading lists: book passing message passing
Stud support officers: door-based cipher collection (they have to work together to cover all the campuses)
Watch H&S video: keyword bingo
Orientation: camerafone, flash mob activities

Is this a good approach to induction?
Does it make them happy?
Achieve induction objectives?
Do enough participate to make it worthwhile? Is the niche the right target (drop outers)?
Incentives? - it's a game
What's winning? - having a leader board. Prizes equal competition and less of a game.
Planning and dynamic design - they'll watch to see what happens and respond dynamically. Don't expect to cross every T and dot every i before hand. they expect some ideas will be too hard and some too simple so they expect to be busy intervening and developing as they go.
Not everything will appeal to all, so some things will be targetted at small groups in the expectation that they'll play their social role in feeding back to all through the forum etc.
Sustainability? Maybe get the students to do it all next year.
Promoting it? Some people will join any game going, flyers, trail points, ambiguous hints. Others will be offered the learning objectives through library induction. Chalenge to balance the appeal to variety of students.
Will the JISC project deliver tools? Tools aren'tv really important though they will codify the process and make that available.
How to evaluate? Measures for engagement, achievement.
Game will run from August to early October. They will track some participants into the future to look at impact.
Use video diaries for collecting data. It will be difficult to find out why people didn't.


Blogger Louise said...

this is exactly the use case I've asked Richard to expore with Kay and progress is being made - sounds like R & K should contact Scott to share.

so, Andrew?? are we converting you to ARGs??

12:14 PM  

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