About this Project

This project uses techniques of gaming, mixed reality performance, and networked media culture to create and evaluate an intervention that engages middle school students in a curriculum about climate change, environmental science, and twenty-first-century skills. This intervention takes the form of a transmedia game with live-action networked elements (an “Alternate Reality Game,” or “ARG”). The project leaders have secured participation from three public and private schools at the seventh-grade level as research sites. The project will generate empirical data via mixed methods research (quantitative and qualitative) on using game-based learning to educate students about one of the most urgent and complex problems of our time. The grounding hypothesis is that humanistic knowledge—especially linked to storytelling, games, and media—can be used to strengthen STEM pathways. The timing of this project, amid the COVID-19 transition, is especially important, given the search across educational institutions for effective hybrid learning methods. The project hopes to achieve a completed game and a replicable remote learning structure that, in future iterations, can scale to the level of Chicago Public Schools in a citywide game.

Learn more about the research team's Fourcast Lab here

Image: Courtesy Fourcast Lab


For a UChicago Designer, Video Games Illuminate Real World Problems

October 5, 2021

UChicago News profiles Ashlyn Sparrow, assistant director of the Weston Game Lab and a collaborator on the Neubauer Collegium Climate Games research project.


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