Games of York - A Case Study: Internet Citizens, Building Identities and Collaborative Storytelling

As a media maker and educator I guess it makes sense that the paths would merge into one seamless experience. I have become increasingly interested in the space created at the intersection of media, pedagogy and storytelling. In some ways it all began with Games of York, a storytelling project, I created last year with York Students. I am attaching a brief description of the project as well as a link to a slide show that explains the structure of the game.

Thrones of York

I guided a group of York College students, taking Digital Storytelling through a cross platform, world building adventure game that emphasized digital skills, and cross-platform storytelling. Set in a Post Sandy environment, New York City, is preparing for Megaflood Umberto. Boroughs are left to fend for themselves and individuals must find solutions. Students developed characters whose identities were defined and created through the use of rich media: video, blogposts, social media profiles, press, official documents, audio recordings, video sightings, timelines and Google customized maps. Simultaneously students belonged to “feudal borough kingdoms” in which they wrote collaborative stories about preparing for, and then weathering Megaflood Umberto: https://megaflood.us Throughout several weeks, the student and professor generated media unfolded on the project’s blog, and twitter feed. Plot points such as a pandemic rat invasion were progressively introduced. These media elements (when correctly tagged) created a coherent, interconnected and enjoyable experience.

Here is the link to a Google presentation about the project: Games of York

This project was an experiment in storytelling, collaboration and media production. Although still largely a work in progress, students successfully integrated solution based teamwork, media production skills, collaborative story building tools, and critical thinking methods. Clearly defined rubrics provided a system to assess both individual and collaborative work. Students interacted with each other online and in person both producing and participating in an engaging experience.

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