Instructor Makerspace – ARIS Game Jam

In this week’s makerspace, we played and made ARIS games. The Augmented Reality and Interactive Storytelling platform, or ARIS, is an open source and browser-based authoring platform for designing interactive storytelling games that can be played on iOS devices.   Games in ARIS are placed-based.  Much of the game play involves interacting with characters or other objects that appear on a map.  In many cases, the player must travel to a precise location in order to interact with the objects on the map, but in other cases, players can Quick Travel, meaning that they travel to the location virtually.

In order to get a feel for how ARIS games work, we played “Food Cart Trail”, where we created a business selling empanadas on the streets of Madison, Wisconsin.  We also took a look at the GSU1010 game that was created collaboratively by GSU students this past fall.  Next, we previewed and then created the “A Present for Pinky Panther” game as a way to learn some of the basic features of the ARIS editor.

At the conclusion of our makerspace, we considered ways that ARIS games could augment the student experience at GSU.  Could an ARIS game be used to welcome students to graduate programs by introducing them to the important people, places, and expectations they will encounter during their time at GSU?  Could an ARIS game help students understand what services are available in the library?  Could students learn about subject matter such as meteorology and emergency response through interactive and place-based games?  The answer to all of these questions we concluded was a resounding, “Yes!”  In fact, as part of the fun we began a game called “Game of Cyclones” featuring HurricaNed Stark and Jon Snowstorm to teach aspects of meteorology.  We also began a game called “Stat Megacode Triage – The Game” to provide practice in performing triage in emergence situations.

If you are interested in playing some ARIS games, you can download the app from the iTunes store.

If you want to jump in to making your own ARIS games, you can get started by reviewing the support material or launch the game design interface from the ARIS/make site.

For more ideas about developing ARIS Games, checkout our ARIS Game Jam makerspace support page or drop by for a consultation.

Come on down to the Exchange on Fridays this semester where we will play with and explore the following topics together.  We’ll play, innovate, have fun, and see what we can create together!

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