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Wednesday, August 7 • 10:15am - 11:00am
Finding the Journal of Odysseus: Alternate Reality Games in English Class

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I've always sought to incorporate more elements of games and gaming into my curriculums. Students are constantly using critical thinking and teamwork skills in the games they play, whether on the athletic field or on their Xbox. Why not leverage that for the classroom?

Inspired by "alternate reality games" – a form of interactive storytelling that uses online puzzles and challenges – I designed a game for my 7th graders to play in conjunction with their reading of Homer's Odyssey. They are tasked with recovering a recently discovered (and stolen) "journal of Odysseus" by solving a variety of puzzles and riddles: everything from ancient Roman ciphers to manipulating computer files to discover hidden information. As they progress through the challenges, they receive another piece of the "journal" (in reality, excerpts from Zachary Mason's The Lost Books of the Odyssey). The puzzles require working together, critical and creative thinking skills, and, most of all, a tenacity to keep trying in the face of a difficult problem.

The game takes various shapes and exists in various formats: Youtube videos, articles, email, and more. 

Speakers
avatar for John Fallon

John Fallon

English teacher, Fairfield Country Day School
John Fallon is a 7th & 9th grade English teacher at Fairfield Country Day School, a Prek-9 all boys school in Connecticut. His first game based learning project was a pervasive Alternate Reality Game to support the teaching of Homer's Odyssey in his 7th grade class. John also co-designed Blind Protocol, an inter-school Alternate Reality Game that instructs on privacy and surveillance in his 9th grade class. John is passionate about advocating... Read More →


Wednesday August 7, 2013 10:15am - 11:00am
Room 206

Attendees (9)