My first encounter with online collaborative learning and problem solving was with what was touted as the beginning of an online phenomena, dubbed by players as "The Beast" (Ahern, "Alternate…"). This was the first in a genre now known as Alternate Reality Gaming (Stacey, "Undefining…"), a type of game that crosses many forms of media. In an Alternate Reality Game (ARG), the task of the writers is to create as real a world as possible (Stewart, "Alternate…"), involving players in the unfolding plot, handing out pieces of the story in websites, emails, working phone numbers, voicemails, or whatever else they can get their hands on (Handy, "Buzzmakers…"). In the creation of The Beast, this new game genre really took off, and performed well. As one Beast creator, Elan Lee stated in a lecture at the 2002 game developers conference: "We created strings of puzzles that no single person could solve on their own, and we found to our delight it was working. The audience was forming teams, sharing ideas, writing applications, posting theories, arranging group meetings, programming distributed-client password crackers, creating art". ARGs are about creating a very real-feel world, and drawing groups of players in to crack puzzles and unfold the story. One ARG creator, Ryan Fitzgerald said: "Essentially games are right now - in our esteem- basically where film was in 1915. So the goal is to try and take a game, raise the cultural level a little bit" (Ahern, "Alternate…"). Some ARGs have a concrete goal with prizes at the end (Saltzman, "Think…"), while others, like the Beast, have you so involved that you just have to know what happens next.

<<First 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Next...>>