GamesMOOC Week 5 – Alternate Reality Games

Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) was the focus for Week 5, those games that spill over into “real life” and make use of a range of delivery platforms to present clues to puzzles that generally are intended to be solved in a collaborative fashion. Of course, there are many flavours of ARG and with it, its own particular language. Terms such as “rabbit hole” (the event/activity/artifact/trigger that gets you started in the ARG) and “puppetmaster” (the person overseeing the game events) give a taste of the generally playful nature of these types of games.

Educause offers a punchy scenario for the use of an ARG as a uni orientation tool along with 7 points explaining the concept and benefits here –  and Jane McGonigal explains the six key elements (cross-media, pervasive, persistent, collaborative, constructive, expressive) in a slideshare here

Seth Priebatsch (founder of SCVNGR) gives an interesting TEDx talk about putting a game layer on top of the world

Some of his game dynamics:

Appointment dynamic – in which to succeed, players must return at a predefined time to take a predetermined action (e.g Happy Hour, watering crops at a certain time in Farmville)

Influence and status – the ability of one player to modify the behaviour of another’s actions through social pressure (e.g Platinum Amex card, BLAP)

Progression dynamic – a dynamic in which success is granularly displayed and measured through the process of completing itemised tasks (e.g LinkedIn profile progress bar, levelling up in WoW)

Communal discovery – a dynamic wherein an entire community is rallied together to solve a challenge (McDonalds Monopoly, DARPA balloon challenge)

And to wrap up, just a stray thought that I might mull over further in time – Is gamification too heavily focussed on social interaction and collaboration – the natural home of the extroverts. Can there be more gamified options for introverts – what shape would they take?

This entry was posted in activities, alternate reality games, ARG, game design, gamesmooc, gamification, orientation and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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