Augmented Reality and Gaming

Augmented Reality GamingGames based in the real world environment and augmented by digital information have the power to engage learners in authentic ways. While interacting with an augmented game, the learner is able to make connections and understand relationships in a more meaningful way. In 2006 Karen Schrier designed a game Reliving the Revolution to evaluate an AR games in education. The game takes place at the Battle of Lexington in Massachusetts. Players of the game are assigned various roles and sides in the battle and are able to interact with virtual historic characters. The game uses GPS data that triggers events on the players hand held device. Players use the experience to understand the battle. Through her study, Schrier found that, "AR games, when properly designed for pedagogical purposes, can motivate the authentic practice of 21st century skills." Specifically she sees AR games potential in teaching interpretation, multimodal thinking, problem solving, teamwork, and diverse perspectives.

n her article "Student Postmortem: Reliving the Revolution," Schrier says, "So, throughout the experience, the participants practiced essential skills like bias identification, decision making, delegation, and problem solving—skills they might not normally encounter in classroom activities. Not only that, but the participants reignited their waning interest in history, and even began to see why it’s important to be historical thinkers in an increasingly global digital economy." [

MIT's Teacher Education program and The Education Arcade are working on an number of AR games using handheld devices. Participants are placed in lifelike environments with GPS enabled devices that trigger virtual media and information. The MIT's program goal is to allow students to experience realistic situations, interact with other students, move throughout the real environment, discover information and solve complex problems in an engaging way.[]
Students may be environmental detectives, zoo scene investigators, or they may solve a fictional crime or discover information about illegal wildlife trade.

MITAR (MIT Augmented Reality)

Students Playing Manifest Destiny

Click!Online is a web-based, augmented-reality game to encourage girls 11-17 to collaborate in a science-based online social network. Together they solve mysteries in biomedical science, and environmental issues as part of a fictional spy school. The AR game and the Girls, Math & Science Partnership (GMSP)is an initiative of Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh, PA. See the facebook page [ Girls, Math & Science Partnership] and a YouTube [ Video Digital Media Learning Competition submission with Click!] and []

Mad City Mystery is a 90 minute game where users with handheld smart devices search for information to help a police examiner played by a live person solve a murder mystery. Players interact with virtual characters to present probable scenarios. The game is designed and run by [ Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds (ARGH Group)] from Harvard and University of Wisconsin's [ Academic Advanced Distributed Learning Co-Lab AADLC] and MIT. []

In May 2010, Qualcomm and San Diego Unified School District’s “School in the Park” began a pilot of an augmented reality mobile game with students from Rosa Parks and Hamilton elementary schools. The schools sent grade 3-5 students to the "School in the Park" for 8 weeks. Using smart phones, students visit the San Diego Museum of Art and nearby Botanical Building. Students take on the identity of multiple characters and work in pairs to solve problems as part of a Chinese folk tale. With the help of GPS and AR triggers, the students use text messages, video, and email to collaborate with classmates to research art and flowers. According to Maureen Magee, "Qualcomm partnered with the Balboa Park school, in part, to introduce low-income students to cutting-edge technology. The goal is to help the students learn to use the tools they will need to compete with their more-affluent peers."Read more here

University of Pennsylvania graduate student Saurabh Palan and collaborators have created a game playing vest that simulates actions in the game Half Life 2. The vests 12 small motors give hepatic feedback. If the player is shot in the game, the impact registers on the vest. According to their video description,"When applied to teleoperation, haptic interfaces allow engineers to control the motion of a robot manipulator in an unreachable environment, such as the depths of the sea or the operative site in minimally invasive robot-assisted surgery. Playing in Half Life 2's fictional dystopia is an enjoyable way to highlight the fields importance in creating computational models of physical environments to facilitate, for example, surgical training, or in more general human-computer interactions for education or entertainment." See the video below

Gaming in the Fourth Dimension

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