Geospatial Games!

Why games?

  • Games can be engaging and have been shown to improve learning outcomes. (Prensky, 2006; Steinkuehler and King, 2009)
  • New media, such as video games, are an extremely prevalent part of our culture. They have changed how we spend our leisure time over the past forty years (Boyle et al, 2011).
  • Affordances of games can support constructivist learning
    • Learner (gamer) centered
    • Require active participation of learner/gamer
    • Require learner/gamer to solve problems and make own meanings
    • Can create relevant, contextually, based situations
  • Not all games are created equal
  • Games connect with this generation of learners (Prensky, 2006)
  • Video games enable designers to create environments where higher ordered thinking is required to solve ill-defined problems, engage in high-level discussions, and utilize scientific reasoning skills (Steinkuehler and King, 2009; Boyle et al, 2011).
  • Games remove the fear of failure

Why geospatial games?

  • Learning in context – in situ
  • Increase spatial understanding
  • Encourage students to truly see, think about, and connect with their own surroundings
  • Connection between physical movement and learning

Augmented Reality is a GREAT platform for Geospatial Games

Augmented Reality is a live view of the real world environment that has been augmented by additional information such as sound, video, graphics, or GPS data.

Super Mario in the Real World! vs Super Mario in VR

Building a curriculum-embedded game

Games that combine augmented reality with geospatial technologies:

  • Ingress
    • Created by Niantic Labs – originally part of Google
      • Uses Google Map data
    • Two teams – Enlightened (Green) and Resistance (Blue)
    • Portals – places of human interest
    • Fields – connecting portals
    • Missions – predetermined route – walking tour of bethlehem
    • How can (CAN?) this be used to learn?
  • Pokemon Go!
    • Developed by Niantic Labs
      • Also uses Google Map data
      • Modeled after Ingress – lots of Pokemon stops are Ingress portals
        • Gyms/Stops are places of “human interest”
    • Try to catch ’em all!
    • Evolve your Pokemon into other Pokemon
    • Battle for control of Gyms
    • Hatch eggs by walking
    • How can this be used to learn?
  • ARIS Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling
    • Many benefits for teachers & students:
      • Free (yay!)
      • Can be customized to whatever content you want
      • Can be played inside or outside
      • Can be played wifi-only (using QR codes) or with cellular connections (required for GPS triggers)
    • Let’s learn more about ARIS