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Development of Social Problem-solving Networks in the Interactive Web-based Game The Beast: A Qualitative Study PROCEEDINGS

, , Curry School of Education, United States

World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-60-0 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA

Abstract

This study explores the online social group that formed around the interactive, web-based game The Beast, known as an alternate reality game (ARG), and the potential these games may have for education. The Beast required players to work as a group to find hidden clues and solve complex puzzles distributed on the web, and elsewhere, to find the answer to the game's central mystery, "Who Killed Evan Chan?" In this study, self-selected game participants completed a web-based survey about their game play experience and their collaborative contributions. Follow-up interviews with selected respondents were conducted one-on-one via online chat. Results suggest that novel educational ARGs can provide compelling and powerful learning experiences if they include challenging levels of game play that necessitate collaboration, provide engaging and immersive storytelling, and implement responsive designs that can be modified "on the fly" based upon player feedback and performance.

Citation

Sebastian, R. & Kinzie, M. (2006). Development of Social Problem-solving Networks in the Interactive Web-based Game The Beast: A Qualitative Study. In T. Reeves & S. Yamashita (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education 2006 (pp. 2350-2357). Chesapeake, VA: AACE.

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