The Tessera, Alternate Reality Game for Learning, Showcased in Indiecade 2017 Festival

The Tessera, Alternate Reality Game for Learning, Showcased in Indiecade 2017 Festival

September 7, 2017
 
We're happy to annouce that The Tessera--an NSF-funded  alternate reality game launched by iSchool designers -- will be showcased as an Indiecade 2017 Official Selection at this year's festival (press release here). Wikipedia describes Indiecade as "the videogame industry's Sundance Festival": it's the premiere international venue for independent games. This is an incredibly competitive arena: this year, the festival received approximately 1000 submissions, with less than 10 percent selected for first-round exhibition. As part of the juried process, they set up a special player account for the judges, produced a 10-minute video, and answered a series of essay questions. 
 
Alternate reality games (ARGs), born in the entertainment industry, are a form of interactive storytelling that incorporates multiple medias to create an immersive experience for players.  A single game might include a book, websites, physical documents, apps, and live phone numbers. Players utilize the array of media to solve a mystery embedded within the story of the game. The experience is all-encompassing. Associate Professor Kari Kraus--along with a large team of multi-institutional collaborators, including Derek Hansen, June Ahn, Elizabeth Bonsignore, Jared Cardon, Jeff Parkin, Tony Pellicone, and Katie Kaczmarek--develop alternate reality games aimed at engaging teens in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) learning.Dr. Kraus and her team are exploring ways that ARGs can engage teens in complex learning within a richly textured game environment. The team’s newest invention, The Tessera, was created in collaboration with Brigham Young University, Tinder Transmedia, and the Computer History Museum. This ARG promises the delightfully eerie vibe of a rotting Victorian mansion, complete with a ghost of no lesser prowess than Ada Lovelace.  
 
If you'd like to get a better sense of what the Tessera is all about, watch the 10-minute video here.