About this Project

We propose to use techniques of gaming and new media culture to create an intervention that
helps students acclimate to a university setting and develop capacities linked to collaboration,
leadership, inclusivity, and twenty-first century literacies. Our intervention will take the form of
a live-action game with digital elements (an “Alternate Reality Game” or “ARG”). We have
secured the University of Chicago 2017 first year orientation for undergraduate students as the
occasion and site for our case study. An interdisciplinary team with expertise in the humanities,
social sciences, and arts will design, execute, and evaluate the effectiveness of this ARG, which
will be run in parallel with the traditional lecture and tour-based orientation. This project
promises to intervene in scholarship on game-based learning and research on the mechanisms
that influence attrition and completion in higher education. Furthermore, we will generate much
needed empirical data on using game-based learning to educate students about a variety of
sensitive issues, such as sexual consent and racial discrimination. Through an extended
collaboration among a number of disciplines, we hope to achieve both a product through a
completed game and a replicable process that we evaluate through qualitative and quantitative


UChicago Charts Future of Ethnographic Research

April 10, 2017

Faculty Fellows Forrest Stuart (The State, Violence, and Social Control in the Contemporary World), Kimberly Hoang (The Economy and its Boundaries), and Kristen Schilt (Gaming Orientation) represent a new generation of sociologists advancing the University’s multidisciplinary tradition. 

Game-Designing Professor Will Take Leave Next Year

February 17, 2017

Faculty Fellow Patrick Jagoda (Gaming Orientation Project) has big plans for his sabbatical, including creating a game in which players will tackle a series of medical mysteries and epidemiological disasters. 

“The Network Imaginary”: A Review of Patrick Jagoda’s Network Aesthetics

November 7, 2016

In this review of Neubauer Collegium Fellow Patrick Jagoda's Network Aesthetics, published in The Los Angeles Review of Books, critic Mary Pappalardo writes that the book "demands that we reconsider the omnipresence of the term 'network' and the seemingly concrete meanings that have come to adhere to it. It asks us to think seriously about what we mean when we talk about networks, what it means to undergird our daily life with network logic, and what possibilities exist once we start imagining networks — and the connection they enable — differently."


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