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 measures.




An Alternate Reality Game that Takes Freshmen Orientation to a New Level

March 26, 2018

A feature in Wired magazine explores the concepts, complexities, and impact of The Parasite, an innovative alternate-reality game developed by the Gaming Orientation project.

The​ Parasite​:​ ​An​ ​Alternate​ ​Reality​ ​Game​ ​for​ ​Orientation

January 8, 2018

In this feature on the theater site HowlRound, Patrick Jagoda and Heidi Coleman describe their work with the Gaming Orientation research project.

“Playing at Orientation”

November 27, 2017

In this Q&A with The Chronicle of Higher Education, Patrick Jagoda and Heidi Coleman describe their work on "The Parasite," the alternate reality game that emerged from their Neubauer Collegium research project Gaming Orientation.


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