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"Down the Rabbit Hole: Alternate Reality Games in Education"


Michael Hamaoka

Event details

How can we use Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) for educational purposes. ARGs use transmedia storytelling to build a world and share a story across different platforms; which often uses real-world interactions to help tell this virtual story, such as phone calls, websites, social media accounts, and live events (Schrier, 2016; Schrier, Torner, & Hammer, 2018). ARGs have been used to market games like Halo 2, in the case of ilovebees, and to promote the launch of the film The Dark Knight or launch of the character, Sombra, from Overwatch. They could also potentially be used for teaching purposes (Hu, Zhang, & Rhea, 2016). However, there are limitations to using ARGs for learning, such as the current stigma that ARGs are associated with the propagation of disinformation and conspiracy theories (Davies, 2022). In this session, we will brainstorm ways to effectively use ARGs for learning, and we will also consider the limitations and how to constructively minimize those issues. How can we repair play (Trammell, 2023) and reclaim it for playing well together, rather than to harm or isolate others, or amass power (DeKoven, Zimmerman; ADL, 2022). The session will be collaborative, and use design thinking techniques to help participants brainstorm and learn from each others’ experiences. You are welcome no matter what your experience level is–even if you have never played or used an ARG, please join us!

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