Week 06: ARG!

Last week was Story Week, where we published our first projects; and this week represents the end of ACT01!  This week we will reflect and review on our own work for the past few weeks, and we will explore a few Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).  

This Week

  • We will reflect and review on our ACT01 work together.
  • We will explore Alternate Reality Games (ARGs).

Brad's Notes

Here we are, closing the first leg of our hero's journey.  You have left the status-quo behind you and faced a number of challenges already - - Slack,, and your own creativity among them.    As a learning cohort, we have intentionally left the order of natural default learning behind us, and we intentionally embraced something different.  

Please watch the following video and see if the term "story" might be replaced with the term "class."  Or, the term "hero" might be replaced with the term "student."  Every Class is the Same  (?)

For this course, I believe we are in the lower quadrants of the story circle - where you are leaning-in to the challenge and realizing, "I've got this."

ACT01 introduced some broad concepts that I hope you will take with you.  I'd like to ask you to reflect a bit this week on one or more of the following.  Which of these concepts has resonated most with you?  Why?

Alternate Reality Games (ARGs)

Alternate Reality Games are essentially large-scale role-play.  A bunch of people gather and agree to a story premise and a general set of rules, and they all pretend. Together.   ARGs are often done for marketing big-budget movies, but they are also done for fun, education, and social justice movements.  Depending on the game, participation varies - but it often involves the players creating digital media in support of the game's premise.  I think these are best explained by example:

World Without Oil (WWO)

WWO kicked off the ARG movement in 2007 by simulated the first 32 weeks of a global oil crisis. Anybody could play by creating a digital story – an email or phone call, a blog post, video, photo, podcast, twitter, whatever – that chronicled the imagined reality of their life in the crisis.

Granger 2020

Hermoine Granger Presidential Campaign was launched in 2020 by the Harry Potter Alliance (HPA) as a "neutral" platform for youth engagement with the issues of American politics. In order to remain non-partisan, HPA is running a full presidential campaign to elect Hermoine Granger as our new president. Participants are actively gathering, campaigning for the causes that Hermoine represents, and generating their own digital stories.

Standford 2025: Teacher PD

The Stanford 2025 project is a professional development exercise and collective imagineering of the future of education. What can institutions, instructors, and their students expect to see over the next few years as online learning becomes an even greater part of not only the academy but the K-12 world as well? The project has crowdsourced stories, ideas, and notions from the learning community and produced a video series - and some live PD events - cataloging the future of education.

As professional development exercise, they simulated a time-machine to literaly take participants into the future.

There are many examples of ARGs like these out there, and most are significantly large-scale - with thousands of participants, creating together.  I like to introduce ARGs in this course because this can also be done on a smaller scale, say in a single classroom. Or say, in a remote learning scenario.  You - the teacher - are the game mechanic and may set the tone, the premise, and the rules of the game.  They - the students - then play the game.  Secretly learning and honing their digital media skills along the way.  There is no limit of possibilities for creating a lesson plan for any discipline, with this approach.  

We have two articles to share with you this week - your choice - each demonstrating how this kind of digital role-play may be used specific to a smaller classroom setting.  I hope you will find inspiration to gameify your own teaching with collective digital storytelling and role-play.  


This Week's Tasks

1. Post a review to a classmate's first digital project. Go to the #act01 find a story that has not been reviewed, and review it.  Tell them what you liked about it, and share an idea for how you might remix their project - taking it a step further.

2.  Read and annotate ONE of the following articles in  Only one -  your choice!

Jagoda, P., Gilliam, M., McDonald, P., & Russell, C. (2015). Worlding through Play: Alternate Reality Games, Large-Scale Learning, and" The Source". American Journal of Play, 8(1), 74-100.

Darvasi, P. A. U. L. (2016). The ward game: how McMurphy, Mcluhan, and Macgyver might free us from McEducation. Teacher Pioneers: Visions from the Edge of the Map, 70-105.

3. Write a brief reflection about your ACT01 experience and share it with Ben and I.  This can be sent to us via Direct Message (DM) on Slack or via email.  Briefly tell us:

2. Smile and complete the WeeklyThing by Sunday.  The WeeklyThing will be posted to Slack on Tuesday.  


Author image

About Brad Hinson

You've successfully subscribed to INTE5340-SV
Great! Next, complete checkout for full access to INTE5340-SV
Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.
Success! Your account is fully activated, you now have access to all content.