What is Immersive Scenario Gaming?
At its most basic level an immersive scenario game involves putting a group of players directly into a problem or scenario, often within a simulated physical environment or derivative “world,” while providing a mechanic to allow the players to interact cooperatively to resolve the problem or experience the scenario. These analog games apply the pedagogy and have the characteristics of experiential learning, active learning, and engaged learning. Immersive scenario gaming has been best (so far) represented in the field of education by escape rooms,(aka puzzle hunts), Edu-LARPs, and megagames. However, other games in the broader immersive field include alternate reality games (ARG), immersive theater and transmedia experiences. (See www.argn.com). Each type represents a different nuanced application of role immersion and simulated milieu.
In his book Teaching as the Art of Staging: A Scenario-Based College Pedagogy in Action, Anthony Weston notes that, Students learn actively when they are "doing things and thinking about the things they are doing." And students doing things - engaging dynamic situations, often urgently, in carefully structured and progressive ways - is the very point of staging scenarios (p.5)."
Note that not all of the articles and sites on this page pertain specifically to "immersive scenario" games and experiences. These are resources that give justification for employing interactive experiences in general and engaging games in particular.
Carnes, Mark C. "Being There: the Liminal Classroom." The Chronicle Review. 8 Oct. 2004, Available online here: reacting.barnard.edu/node/3048.
Nash, Ron. The Active Classroom: Practical Strategies for Involving Students in the Learning Process. Corwin Press, 2009.
Nygaard, Claus, et al. Simulations, Games and Role Play in University Education. Short Run Press, 2012.
Walsh, Andrew. The Librarians Book on Teaching through Games and Play. Innovative Libraries, 2018.
This video is not about immersive gaming in education. It is not even about gaming in education. But, it speaks to the main concepts that active, immersive gaming addresses.
My name is Jared Seay, and I am a research/instruction librarian at the Addlestone Library at the College of Charleston. Generally speaking my raison d’être is the investigation of the intersection of learning and human engagement; specifically as this intersection involves the concept and techniques of games and gaming in education. Other than learning and teaching, games and gaming are my personal passions. I am currently working on completing a grant in which I am creating escape rooms, megagames, and portions of Edu-LARP for use as tools for library instruction and orientation. I welcome any fellow educators to share in the knowledge and practical application of immersive gaming in the cause of active learning.