Have you ever wanted to create mobile quests, adventures and challenges right on your phone? Well the MacArthur Foundation, Hive NYC and Carnegie Mellon University’s Entertainment Technology Center have been prototyping a tool that could do just that. The ARGo project is creating a mobile, inclusive ARG (Alternate Reality Game) to introduce teens to the city in which they live. The experience will provide 6th-12th graders with the means to navigate and understand the capabilities of Hive NYC’s member institutions.
On Saturday, October 16th the project team conducted some essential user testing on the ARGo gameplay with 15 high school youth participants in Bank Street College of Education’s Liberty Leads program. Hive NYC intern Helen Lee scoped out the area around Bank Street and created five quick quests that the youth played as a way to get to know the tool. The youth answered questions based on landmarks including Tom’s Diner made famous in the sitcom “Seinfeld,” the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and Columbia University. You can read Helen’s quests here.
After the youth finished the quests they had the chance to design their own and upload them to Droid phones. One of our favorite quests was “Statue Math” that asked players to solve math problems based on the dates written on historical statues that line Riverside Drive.
The ARGo tools are still in development and we will learn from the experience and feedback recieved from the students that prototyped it, but soon Hive NYC will have a new tool to explore, create and share New York City as one large game board, stay tuned!