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Playfields: Prototyping a location based game for higher education. (Playfields)
Start date: Feb 1, 2016, End date: Jul 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The idea for this Proof of Concept (PoC) is to develop a prototype of a location-based game (LBG) that can be used for teaching fieldwork in a Higher Education (HE) setting. The rationale behind it is that location-based games, understood here as pervasive games in which gameplay develops through a player's mobile location, are promising educational tools for fieldwork, as they:- Are close to student’s lifestyle as digital natives - Offer innovative and creative technologies for using methods in vivo. - Offers educators possibilities to monitor and supervise students’ progress - Allow for different interactions between students, teachers and learning environments - Allow for more creative learning processes for understanding environments and people - Offer accessible and informal ways to break down barriers between researcher and “researched” The game we envisage to prototype will consist of an OpenStreetMap based GPS enabled mobile phone app that can be used by students while conducting fieldwork. The game mixes spatial and qualitative approaches, that prompt students to complete certain educational tasks, plan routes , create narratives, or “claim” certain spots or areas. The app will then feed data created by the students (GPS check-ins, images, texts, recordings) back to a main computer where the findings and activities are collected, scored with points and evaluated by the teachers of the course. Through this central interface organisers of the course as well as BOTs (automated tasks/non-playable entities in the game-world) can send messages, advise and tasks to the participants, information that is also used to share and evaluate the results with students in the classroom. Likewise students can communicate with their supervisors while in the field through this central interface to ask for advise.
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