ARG my life

So, I’d like to make an ARG to encourage ARG design………right………just let that awesomeness sink in for a minute.

I find ARG design to be challenging, and interesting. Designing for user interaction, user learning and user enjoyment from a voluntary level is different for a long-time professor. I enjoy my classes and the topics of my classes, but I also realize that they need to be practical to student’s lives and I understand students earn credits for completing these courses which help them graduate. Students have some choice in the content they choose to complete – but it also depends on schedule, availability, and timing. A student may choose to complete my course because of the time, and the need for a 300 level writing course. Or a student may choose to complete my course because it’s about videogames – then realize how complex and complicated literacies discussion are. Either way, they are rewarded for completion with a grade – so they put in the effort required to earn the grade desired. This is completely different than an ARG – which is voluntary. People who play ARGs are truly interested in the topic, in gamifying life, in gamifying approaches to complex problem solving (McGonigal and co.’s games for instance). So as I’m working through ARG design for voluntary participation for a symposium and realizing students should experience this too – I know I need to provide them notes, but what’s the best format for that.

Side note – i’ve been reading’s Losh’s Virtualpolitik which is amazing, but after reading the chapter on Powerpoint (which I never liked and like even less now) I’m questioning all my design approaches/decisions to teaching. what world view am I accidently arguing for based on my technology choices – how am I simplifying complex ideas too much because I use Prezi.

Which brings me to ARG design for ARG design assignments. I’ve seen several amazing powerpoint presentations just broad enough to provide high level understanding of the steps required to design an ARG for learning. But I think students dealing with complex ideas of literacies need a better approach to understand and learn about ARG design before they embark on their own (group work based) ARG design. So, should I design an ARG for the first few weeks of class to teach about ARG design to help students – in addition to the regular course content? What would this look like?

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