THATCamp Games Bootcamp

The room filled up fast for the Bootcamp--nine people had to stand or sit on the floor

Members of the AGOG team presented a Bootcamp workshop on “Narrative Puzzles” at last weekend’s THATCamp Games digital humanities and gaming unconference.

ARGs, RPGs, educational games, and many more types of narrative-rich games often rely on puzzle-based modules. This workshop moved introduced both transmedia/ARG and college-puzzle-challenge-style puzzles, then workshopped two puzzles based on the same mechanic–one more and one less narrative. Finally, we discussed questions such as:

  • How do create a puzzle that’s fun to solve even after you’ve figured out its trick?
  • How do you incorporate narrative flavor into puzzles meaningfully, and how do you incorporate puzzles into narratives meaningfully?
  • How do you incorporate learning (e.g. STEM, historical thinking, or information literacy)?
  • How do you test a puzzle–and why should you test puzzles before using them?
  • What is running a puzzle with players or student players actually like?
  • How do you create metapuzzles?

We shared some resources on ARGs and narrative-heavy puzzles here, and a helpful attendee took notes you can peruse here.

Playtime! Members of AGOG and attendee Emily Lewis check out a puzzle.

Half the attendees worked on a "college puzzle hunt"-style puzzle, while half worked on a puzzle based on the same mechanic, but with a thicker narrative.

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Digital Dialogue at MITH!

Members of the AGOG team (aka the UMD iSchool ARG Research Team) presented a Digital Dialogue (plus a stealth mini-ARG) at the Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities (MITH) on their research on alternate reality games, game design, and educational games. Kari Kraus, Beth Bonsignore, Amanda Visconti, and Ann Fraistat participated in the 11/28/2011 talk. More information on the talk can be viewed here on the MITH website, or you may download the slides from the Digital Dialogue.

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ARG Design and Play App Bibliography

We’d like to share with you the (necessarily incomplete) bibliography of tools for both ARG design and play we developed as part of our Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry ARG’s first season. The bibliography is tailored to educational ARGs with online and mobile components. Please feel free to suggest additional items in the comments! Read More »

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AGOG at the DH 2011 Conference

The AGOG team presented a poster at the Digital Humanities 2011 Conference this past week. View a PDF of our conference poster here.

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Welcome to ArcaneGalleryOfGadgetry.org!

The Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry (AGOG) team is pleased to release ArcaneGalleryOfGadgetry.org, our new hub for all things related to the AGOG alternate reality game. Please fill out the form on the front page to join our listserv for notification of the ARG’s Season 2 start date, and check back here for news!

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