The Source: A 5 Week Alternate Reality Game at Univ. of Chicago copy

A project that used gameplay and transmedia storytelling to rethink traditional learning and digital literacy.

The Source was a 5-week Alternate Reality Game hosted by Game Changer Chicago in summer 2013. The game was played by 140 high school students, and combined play in both online and offline spaces. The story, which followed a 17-year-old protagonist named Adia, was conveyed through transmedia means, including webisodes, tweets, Facebook posts, text messages, and voicemails. The narrative led players to a series of board games, cryptographic puzzles, scavenger hunts, and creative digital media tasks. The Source was played in teams of ten players that were overseen by undergraduate and graduate student mentors. The game explored issues such as sustainability, health policy, bullying, immigration, and homophobia while helping youth develop skills in Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math (STEAM).

Episode 15: New Blood

Adia and Ros wrap up their adventure in this video epilogue.

Week 2 Begins

Week 2 of The Source focuses on Science, Reproductive Health and Community.

Ice Breakers

Youth get to know their new team mates, and their new mentors, through outdoor "icebreaker" activities.

Week 1 - The Source Begins

140 high school students arrive at The Source home base, located on The University of Chicago campus. They are assigned to teams to play the five-week game. The themes for Week 1 include Engineering, Urban Planning and Sustainability.

Scavenger Hunt

The players explore The University of Chicago campus on a scavenger hunt to find clues left to Adia from her father. The players will use these clues in future activities and to help Adia piece together the complex backstory of her father.

Board Game - Cross Roads

Played on the soon-to-be-famous map of "Hexacago," the main goal of this game is to use as few resources as possible to connect houses using roads and intersections.

Players Visit MSI

Players explore exhibits on a scavenger hunt at the Museum of Science and Industry.

Episode 2: Meet Micah

Players meet Adia's tech-savvy friend, Micah, who will prove to be a great help in solving puzzles of the computer and engineering variety.

Prologue - The Discovery

Meet Adia, a 17-year-old girl who is solving a mystery left to her from her father. This video was posted several days before the high school youth arrived to play the game.

Episode 1: Adia & Ros

Through this webisode, players meet Adia's best friend Ros, and discover more about the mysterious game created by Adia's long-lost father.

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