After cleaning out my inbox (1300+ messages!), I found a few stories from the past month or so that I found interesting, and I hope you will too:
Over at Cross-Media Entertainment, Christy Dena is reporting on a new educational ARG called Help Me Solve a Mystery. Quoting from the Research Quest blog , Dena notes that the ARG will be “designed to teach critical thinking and information literacy skill. The game will be targeted to college students, yet will be freely open and promoted in order to attract a broad range of participants.” Our very own Michael Andersen started up a discussion thread at the Unfiction forums earlier this week. Gayla Keesee, who blogs at Ed Tech Lady, has written an article asking for assistance from people currently playing this game, so if you can help her out, be a good samaritan!
Also on the educational front comes this article by Ian Bogost at Water Cooler Games. It tells of an instructional counter-terrorism ARG called the Never Rest Game and links to a discussion thread at the Unfiction forums.
Just as the news of two instructional ARGs comes to our attention Jeremy Vernon blogs about using ARGs as an educational tool. We hope Jeremy is watching the same blogs and web sites as we are.
The last of the education-themed story alerts pointed us in the direction of Dr. Scott J. Warren, a professor at the University of North Texas. Dr. Warren is teaching his students about alternate reality gaming through a course called CECS 1000, describing the course as a “hybrid course.” Warren is extending his classroom environment to Second Life, but exactly what kind of ARG this will turn out to be is unknown, as it is closed to outside access. However, you can read Warren’s own blog at doorarg.wordpress.com.
Shifting gears now, Wagner James Au and Jane Pinckard at GigaOm have pontificated about the most-wanted games for the iPhone, and #7 on the list is Perplex City, or another top ARG. Their argument is that an ARG would showcase the multi-funcionality of the iPhone, and they are calling for Jane McGonigal to be hired for the project.