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Transmedia In Education: creating pervasive games

robert | June 17, 2013  ‐  1 Comment

For the past two weeks, 15 yr old Conor has worked with us on work experience to create a pervasive game that uses text messaging, audio and video.

denisova descent

 

 

 

 

 

 

The task was to “create a pervasive game-in-a-box”. That is, a game that could be played at any location by simply downloading a Powerpoint presentation and following the instructions. The presentation contains all the details and physical materials (e.g. to be printed locally) needed to allow anyone to play the game with friends wherever they are.

What we highlight here is the incredible learning opportunity this exercise created. To deliver this assignment, Conor had to do the following:

  • create a game (he adapted a playground ground)
  • create a storyworld around the game mechanics
  • understand the concept of an open storyworld (e.g. story content delivered in any order)
  • learn to use Conducttr and implement the necessary logic and content
  • think through the practicalities of hosting the game at any location
  • play test the game and make improvements (which he did twice – once with us and once with friends)
  • write the game rules and setup instructions in a way that could be easily understood and followed
  • shoot and edit video (used his mobile phone and iMovie)
  • record and edit audio (used is mobile phone and Garageband)
  • write up his “making of” experience

Maybe it’s time to introduce this type of project-based learning into schools, scout groups, local youth groups?

Here’s the website Conor created and below is his trailer.

The basic mechanics of the game (see image below):

  • everyone meets at the starting point and divide into two groups – humans and denisovans
  • the denisovans make their way to a new location, leaving a trail of paper beacons and the occasional checkpoint
  • at each checkpoint the denisovans check in (text the code) and are given new information
  • when the humans follow they also check in at the check point with the same code and same telephone number. This time however they are answered by a different character and given different media. The denisovan group is alerted to the human’s progress.

Denisovan Descent in Conducttr

  • Sandy Brownlee

    First, it sounds fun, and also accessible. Kudos to Conor! I also love the way the whole process is broken down step by step with such clarity. It makes me believe that I can make a game, too!