Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Creativity, Invention, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

pp 1-3

Date: Latest Version

Alternate Reality Games as Inventions

  • Dirk IfenthalerAffiliated with Learning, Design and Technology, University of Mannheim Email author 


Online role-playing game; Serious game

Key Concepts and Definition of Terms

Games are a universal part of human experience and are present in all cultures. Characteristics of a game include goals, rules, competition, and interaction (Huizinga 1955; Ifenthaler et al. 2012). Serious games are entertaining and interactive learning environments including a purposeful curricular focus (Ritterfeld et al. 2009). Alternate reality games, or ARGs, represent an innovative game genre that requires use of the Internet yet imports other media and methods of communication to facilitate play (Szulborski 2005).

Theoretical Background

Serious games have emerged as “a new form for education and training” (de Freitas and Liarokapis 2011, p. 9). In fact, the innovations of serious games have such great consequence that they envision them to be capable of providing “a paradigm shift in how education and training are delivered in the twenty-first century” (de Freitas and Liarokapis 2011, p. 9). Given th ...

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