7 Pervasive Games

Overview: Pervasive games are scenario-based activities that blur the line between reality and fiction and bridge the real and game world. They usually integrate various riddles or puzzles using different media to create a fictitious but realistic storyline. The scenario evolves according to the discoveries made by the participants. Participants have regular access to clues, although they might not be presented explicitly as such. Clues lead to a series of puzzles to solve over the course of the game. Pervasive games are very effective ways of staging course material and problem solving, especially over long periods of time.

Tips and Tricks:

  • The scenario is central to the game and challenging to create. It should be credible, so it contributes to blurring the line between reality and fiction.
  • The participants should be gradually introduced and guided to get into the scenario and the game. They need to know what to expect and to be aware of the ongoing scenario. This is useful so they are prepared to expect the unexpected as per what can be a clue and a lead to follow.
  • Providing new developments on a regular basis is key to the evolution of a pervasive game. New clues or activities should be introduced at least every three classes.
  • It is useful to prepare clues, in case participants are stuck or don’t necessarily pick up on the lead.
  • Make clues and elements of the scenario as realistic as possible (provide real numbers to call, real email addresses, convincing answers, etc.). However, you can leave some subtle elements blurring the line and suggesting it is not the actual reality.
  • Pervasive games can integrate other type of activities such as riddles, crosswords, etc.
  • Mainstream tools or platforms (Instagram, LinkedIn, Gmail, etc.) can be used to create accounts or resources such as social media profiles, emails, etc.
  • Platforms such as Canvas or Piktochart can be used to create templates or fake documents such as newspapers.

Duration: From a few days to several weeks.

Continuity: Pervasive games can be unfolded over an extended period (several days or weeks). They can be used during a whole session.

Number of players: 10 to 99 students. The more people involved the bigger and more complex problems can be proposed to students.



Share This Book