Vassar College’s student newspaper has a great feature story on the GreaterThanGames Lab’s Speculation alternate reality game (“Class Engages in Alternate Reality Game,” November 14, 2012). As we’ve described here previously, Speculation combines game play with narratives of a near-future world, codes and ciphers with deep information about the origins of money, credit, and finance. Led by Kate Hayles, Patrick Jagoda, and Patrick Lemieux, a collective of GTG faculty/students/friends worked tirelessly last year to design and implement the game – often re-designing and re-implementing on the fly as they matched wits with the crytographically savvy game players.
Imagine taking a class where homework might involve descrambling codes and images, as well as searching for clues around campus. You now know what it’s like to take a media studies course taught by Post Doctoral Fellow of Media Studies Stephanie Boluk.
For the last month, students of Boluk’s course titled “Digital Arts/ E-Poetry” have been engaged in Speculat1on, a community-based Alternate Reality Game (ARG) which plunges students into the precarious world of stock markets and Wall Street, and combines a literary narrative with digital engagement.
“This isn’t the type of game where you’re like, ‘Ugh, I have to do this assignment for class’. This game will consume you if you let it,” said Reed Gaines ’13, a student in the class.
The game is also playing a starring role in “Transmedia Games: Theory and Design,” an undergraduate course at the University of Chicago co-taught by Jagoda and Sha Xin Wei. Here at Duke, Hayles is leading an independent study this semester to test, analyze, and evaluate the game, so that it could eventually be turned into an online resource for scholars and teachers.
Read the whole article here. Great quotes from Patrick, Stephanie, and the students too!
Image: Player-generated art by “Nation” – http://speculat1on.net/WE/viewtopic.php?id=184