This research aims to document the design, development and implementation of the Nomad alternate reality game for the purposes of teaching and exercising information literacy. Alternate reality games are unique games that are played by players in the real world, where players attempt to uncover an overarching narrative story throughout the play of the game. Twelve examples of such games are examined within the literature in order to discern the genre?s suitability for educational purposes.
Game design theory literature was consulted to form the basis of Nomad?s design, whilst also adhering to noted alternate reality game design principles from additional literature. Design of the game followed both agile processes as well as the spiral model of software development. A portion of this finalised design was developed and implemented as a pilot study, with various changes being made to the final design ? the game proper ? as a result. The pilot study and the game proper represent cases that are utilised within this study?s research method, a case study.
Data on these cases was gathered through non-participant observation, interviews, questionnaires, document analysis and computer-generated log file analysis, using appropriate research instruments (the researcher-as-instrument, the players themselves, and the game websites and associated back-end technology for further analysis). Each case was separately subjected to constant comparative analysis in an attempt to discern the qualitative opinion of the players regarding the educational and entertainment value of both iterations of the game. An understanding of these qualitative conclusions aims to aid future educational alternate reality game designers with their work, as well as examine the use of alternate reality games within an educational context.