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7 Things You Should Know About Alternate Reality Games

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Abstract

Alternate reality games (ARGs) weave together real-world artifacts with clues and puzzles hidden virtually any place, such as websites, libraries, museums, stores, signs, recorded telephone messages, movies, television programs, or printed materials. ARGs are not computer or video games, but electronic devices are frequently used to access clues. Players can meet and talk with characters in the narrative and use resources like postal mail, e-mail, the web, or the public library to find hints, clues, and various pieces of the puzzle. ARGs open doors into the future of students’ professional lives, where they will be expected to solve complex problems by taking necessary raw materials from multiple resources, thinking critically and analytically, and putting their individual skills, interests, and abilities at the disposal of a group dedicated to a common goal.

The "7 Things You Should Know About..." series from the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI) provides concise information on emerging learning technologies. Each brief focuses on a single technology and describes what it is, where it is going, and why it matters to teaching and learning. Use these briefs for a no-jargon, quick overview of a topic and share them with time-pressed colleagues.

In addition to the "7 Things You Should Know About…" briefs, you may find other ELI resources useful in addressing teaching, learning, and technology issues at your institution. To learn more, please visit the ELI Resources page.

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