Educational Alternate Reality Game – The Discussion Board
(This is the next post in my description of the Finding Identity alternate reality game.)
At the beginning of the game, all the group members need to get to know each other. Therefore, the game’s first task is to introduce themselves to each other on the discussion board and then collaboratively come up with a group name. In addition, this task allows the players to become familiar with the discussion board and how to post, reply, quote, and message each other.
The discussion board is the players’ primary communication medium in this game. In the Finding Identity game rules, I’ve made it a point to stress that all group communication should be done in the discussion board.
The main reason for this is so that the instructor (Game Master) can view this communication and provide formative feedback to individual players or groups. I’ve found that being able to provide good, continuous formative feedback is a key difference between an educational ARG and an entertainment ARG.
Speaking of differences between education and entertainment ARGs, in creating this game, I’ve observed that there are various tradeoffs that need to be made to make an ARG educational (instead of just entertaining). I’ll try to point more of these differences out as the description of the game continues in future posts.
Can you think of any other obvious or not-so-obvious differences between educational and entertainment ARGs?