Alternate Reality Gaming and Collaborative learning

Jennifer Jamieson

          When many people think about online gaming, they probably don't think about learning and networking. But in the world of Alternate Reality Gaming, both play a very important role. Looking at (and participating in) Alternate Reality Gaming has made me see collaborative learning in a very different light. What was once tedious 'group work' in classes and at work looks very different when presented over the internet, with participants often spanning the globe, and areas of expertise often spanning the alphabet. Online collaborative learning is a powerful tool, and whether the goal is playing a game, solving medical mysteries, or participating in a class project, it can be a very effective way to learn and solve problems. As Don Tapscott says in an article for Computerworld : "If they play their cards right, game creators could end up driving the entire entertainment, learning and IT industries" (32).