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SuperFly Space Hop

8 Jul

A Space Hop, by SuperFly definition, is a treasure hunt using a specially tagged Google map, QR codes and mobile devices around a town or city. This one was designed as a ice breaker for PHD students gathered for a Summer School focusing on eTourism.

The game is part of my Masters research focusing on evolving role of storytelling through social media and video games. I want to find effective and engaging ways of using these emerging tools for education, entertainment and advertising.

The game in ST Andrews had five teams of four or five members each. Each team had a HTC Flyer Android Tablet to view the map, scan the codes and complete the prescribed tasks by capturing photos and video. In addition each team had a videographer with another tablet capturing their progress.

Just over a week ago I began the task of watching a few hours worth of video to make some sense of it all. There were certain things that I was looking for… were the tasks too hard, too easy, understandable? I was also looking for clues as to how a tourist may behave using an application such as this. Does it enhance or hinder the experience of visiting the city?

Below is a rough cut of some of the video captured during the game.


I’ve since been able to capture feedback from three of the five teams that took part and so I pretty much have a 360 view on what happened and how the players and observers felt about it.

Probably the most negative person in relation to how the day panned out was me because, as ever, there were technical issues. Nothing that could have been foreseen without a complete dry run, and nothing that couldn’t be remedied in other ways. Mainly the issues were with uploading images and particularly video during the game. Looking back, trying to gather a live feed of images and video, given the constraints of 3G, was perhaps a little optimistic. However, those issues coupled with some of the feedback would suggest that the most convenient way to go would be an ‘app’ that contained the Google map, QR reader and links to Flickr and Twitter so that each element could be accessed more easily.

I’m now in the process of visualising the feedback and experiences of NEoN Knights, the two SuperFly Safari’s and now the Space Hop.

It’s amazing how much information you can take from playing a game like this. Besides the benefits that come from the experience itself there is also a huge amount of behavioural data that could be manipulated out of these scenarios. An artificial cultural probe? Not even sure what I mean, are any cultural probes non-artificial..? However, theres something in there… I’m sure that scenarios could be orchestrated, like role play, but observations made during the process… like a Swiss Army Knife of a design tool..?

Anyway, this post has been long enough so I’ll leave you with your thoughts and post more later…

Mystery and the QR Code

17 May

So, second semester assessment out of the way, time to focus on the QR workshop.

The background to this is that I did a QR hunt for the Game To Learn conference and the people who organised that have organised this event in Edinburgh, Open For Education. The focus of the event is to introduce educators to a wealth of Open Source (free) resources available for use in the classroom.

So, I was offered the opportunity to do a session based on QR (Quick Response) codes which would suit predominantly FE/HE lecturers.

I’m assuming the group in Edinburgh will mostly be ‘newbies’ to QR so i’ll start with a bit of history, and then get into the mystery

If you’re interested in coming along (or know someone who might) please let me know in the comments below or tweet me @onthesuperfly (I need to know how many biscuits to bring…) and if you don’t already have a QR Reader on your phone take a few minutes to see if one is available before you arrive… iPhone/iPad and Android are easy (NeoReader, iNigma, Scan, Quickmark come recommended), for all other phones just google you phones make and model along with ‘qr reader’ and see what comes up.

Additionally, if you know of any particularly creative examples of QR codes, especially if they are yours, then let me know. I’ll include a showcase of what’s being done with QRs as well as what I’ve been up to, so I want to hear from you… especially if they are yours!

Workshop
QReativity – Mystery of the QR Code
Masters of Design Studio
Duncan of Jordanstone
Thursday 19 May at 11am
There will be opportunity  

Hope to see you on there!