Wednesday, June 08, 2011

#iel11 Leveraging ARGs for Learning

Presentation: Leveraging ARGs for Learning
Presenter: Koreen Olbrish

ARG: ALternate Reality Games (pervasive games / metagames / transmedia games)
- Mix of real world play and interaction with online components
- Collect clues to solve a mystery/puzzle
- Played individually or in teams
- Also called pervasive games


Remember - think of objective and design and model.

Alternate reality games - storyline based, can be low tech

Augmented reality games - overlay of info on real life. Can be used to create alternate reality games.

Gamification - looking at what people do anyway and putting game on top (Metagame)

- Puppetmaster - person behind scenes monitoring game play
+ Never know what people are going to do.
+ Help to guide. Adjust to accommodate OR squash
+ Scoring modified
- Curtain - separation between puppetmaster and players. Don't want to know who is actually controlling the game.
- Rabbithole - First entry piece into game. Where introduce characters, directions, etc.
+ If designing ARG for learning - don't make it a big mystery. Entertainment - can be mystery.
+ Don't want people in learning environment "wasting time" in tasks that aren't directed at learning goals.
- This is not a game (TINAG) - people doing things normally be doing. Modelling real life activities as part of game
+ ie - supervisor giving information to move storyline forward.
+ Recreate environment
+ "This is me practicing."

ARGs for Entertainment
Example: I love bees
- No one player could solve puzzle or accomplish tasks without working with others.
- It has been solved.

Example: Chain Factor (Numb3rs)
- Information in the TV show Numb3rs. And poster (clue) in NY subway.
- Getting people involved in show.

People invest a ton of time and energy figuring out puzzles.

New one out for Game of Thrones. Also -Tony Hawk on Twitter, scavenger hunt.

Serious ARGs
- Traces of Hope (red Cross, Tsunami)
+ How communication disseminated during disaster
- World without Oil
+ How do you live life without Oil? Journal and document entire day.
+ Single player, reflective journey
- Evoke
+ Connection between children in Africa and business people in other parts of world to solve business problems.
+ Lots of barriers to interaction
-- Time zone differences, time requirements for participants, too many differences to overcome.
-- Very high drop-off rate

ARGs for corporate learning
- Model real behaviors in game environment. Make it easy to transfer later.

Case Study: DevLearn 2009, Zombie Apocalypse
- Goals
+ Introduce/practice using different social media technologies for communication, collaboration and learning
+ Encourage networking and provide opportunities for relationship building
- Game structure
+ Team play
+ Collecting clues
- Tweets and clue codes. Also used YouTube, Flicker, Facebook, game portal.
- Launched 3 weeks before conference
+ Leaderboard
+ Avatars etc

- Lessons learned
+ Thought no one would play. Surprised at so much participation. Over 200 people. Some really hyper-competitive
+ Teams competing against each other. But 1st person from team to find the clue, made points. Accidentally set up internal competition between team dynamic.
+ Didn't set up where teams could talk privately. Teams wound up setting up private facebook pages. Outside game structure.
+ Team members - 15, probably too big and too fluid. Also "joined team but no clues" peer pressure.
+ No incentive to play the game. No prizes, no nothing. People participating to participate. Happy with outcome, but definitely needs tweaks

Didn't incorporate much game play into conference

Does it have to be zombies? (um. no)

Conference ARGs v Learning ARGs
- Conferences event based. Very focused on getting folks to interact.
- Conferences - get info and socialize. But not a lot of incentives to do extra work.

- Learning ARG - expectation part of training / part of day
+ People have time, though in bits and pieces
+ connect in various ways (PC, mobile)
+ context VERY important

Case Study: Constellation Wine
- Goals
+ Reinforce product knowledge and messaging
+ Practice selling skills
+ Encourage networking and provide opportunities for relationship building
- Game structure
+ Team play
+ Collecting "clues"
+ Online and onsite game play
- Launched 2 weeks before (maybe 4-5 hours)
- Game at conference
- Created virtual territory - which of your products make most sense?
+ Facebook page to communicate info
+ Unintended consequence - character posting information. But sales rep talking back. Puppetmaster forced to interact.
-- Trainers use it still to interact
+ Gates - needed to complete tasks before move forward
+ Prize - a vacation (had an incentive, big one)
+ 600 reps playing
+ The actual sales reps and sales management supported
+ all of the gameplay in portal. Also mobile - everyone has standard mobile devices. Scenarios handled through game engine.
+ Can spend a lot of time or a little depending on the person. People on both extremes. Hope, more thought you put in it - better you do.
+ They were using their own products and resources and materials expected to use during the course of their job with their customers (live company website).
+ For every day delay getting clue, fewer points. INcentivized to keep up with game (to prevent people from doing stuff at last minute)

- Lessons learned
+ Not easy sell to get the game implemented. Never done game before, much less during sales meeting. Big change culturally. 40-60 year old. Afraid sales reps wouldn't do it. Not mandatory. Still had 83% participation (was surprised).
+ Sales leadership thought "too hard" initially. A little pushback. Interestingly, once start playing - players wanted it to be harder.
+ They wanted it to be as complex as real work environment.
+ (Audience comment) - no one wants to be the non-participant. This could be motivator.
+ Reality - the inside sales reps who sat at desks all day, huge discrepancy between team with lots of inside sales reps vs. outside sales reps who don't sit at computers all day. Changed scoring mechanism going into live meeting. Allowed teams who were far behind to catch up unless the front-runners kept up.
-- Outside sales reps - competition levels shifted
-- Wouldn't have happened unless evaluating in the middle.

Development time for Constellation Wine - 6-8 weeks
- 2-3 day pilot test week before launch
- Tracked everything could track. How much time people spent, clues, conversations
- Used Kris Rockwells' portal

Post-game performance
- Wanted to look at sales data. Not given by client.
- REception of style of learning - tremendous. Wanted to do more of this for new hire
- Wanted to keep storyline for future training initiatives.
- Client saw as huge win (engagement and learner perception), plus excitement over looking at the old documents. (teach how to use the website with all of the information)
+ Visibility of resources HUGE benefit.

Examples of what not to do
- Main goal was to get people to talk to each other.
+ Wanted it to be subversive. So didn't market the game.
+ Piece of paper with clue to check something out. Everyone threw away.
+ Played video that was 4 security cameras. But no context or explanation.
+ Video ends, no comment. No one cared. Figured it was a glitch.
+ Made it so secret no one knew about it.

ARG for corporate learning - gotta be obvious.
- Why doing it, what doing, etc.
- Marketing key. How are you going to message, market.

Don't make it additional work!
- Don't add on top of training.

Watch your timing - what do people have to do in their real job.
- Do they actually have time?

Make sure the people have the technologies and the capabilities to play.

DevLearn 2010 - Dr. Strangelearn

Corporate learning opportunities

- New hire training
- Coaching
- Leadership development (teamwork, problem-based learning)
- Feedback mechanisms
- Action learning

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