Transmedia Time: Gaming

Games and other interactive experiences are the final elements of building a transmedia learning environments.

Turn reading into an adventure through "choose your own adventure" style books now known as "active fiction". Coliloquy is the latest publisher to join this trend.

The MIT Mystery Hunt began in 1981. It's one of the most challenging puzzlehunts in the world. People use a wide range of old and new tools to solve puzzles on their quest for a coin.

The Jewel of the Valleys is an augmented reality game set of Harrisburg, PA at the National Civil War Museum. Students follow clues to solve a mystery and find a jewel. Use this to build your own game. They use real locations and QR codes.

Go to Google Games to learn ways to develop games around the Google products.

Go to the Google Game: Creatures wikispace to try a Google Game. Does it contain the following four elements?

All games have four elements. When you create a game, be sure to GRAF it.

  1. Goal. You need a way to win or achieve the goal.
    As educators we need to match goals with purposes and reasons for learning.
  2. Rules. You need to know what you may and may not do. 
    As educators, we need to provide guidelines for learning.
  3. Action and Attitude. You must do something along the way. Make it fun and interesting. 
    As educators we need to make leanring meaningful and challenging.
  4. Feedback. You need to know how you are doing. 
    As educators, we need to provide ongoing opportunities to self, peer, and teacher assessment.

Let's explore ways that gaming can be woven into transmedia experiences across the curriculum.


Look for games and interactives to connect with books and reading.

Extend the Brainpop experience by creating your own stories. Use DomoAnimate to create your own stories starring quirky characters.


DolphinCombine the Arkive games with multimedia learning from the website. For instance, start by learning about the Sand Lizard, then play the A Day In The Life Of A Sand Lizard game. Finally create your own animal game with questions and answers using PowerPoint.

Create games using the KidsHealth Interactives. Explore the Microscopic page. Create your own clue and answer pages for a "guess what it is " game.

Compare virtual and live experiences. Start with the Litmus Reactions website. Then, conduct your own experiments. Tell a story where you might use information from these reactions. Make a video recording.

The key is telling a fluid story through the use of various media. Get students actively involved along the way. Begin at the CDC exploring the flu map. Examine illustrations. Read the infographic. Then, play the virus or bacteria game. Finally create a promotional video and share on Vimeo.

Explore other science games such as Engaging Science and ScienceNetLinks.


Begin with a math interactives and tools such as Mathwarehouse. Involve students in making real-world connections through stories that incorporate the interactive. Use tools like Comic Life to make math stories.

Go to Tall Tales and Short Stories. Figure out the differences between the tallest and shortest players. Now, create your own game that compare sizes of things. What could you compare?

Use the Illuminations activity site for lots of tools for story building.

social studies

vokiCombine the Colonial people interactive with multimedia materials about people from the website. Involve students in extending the story using Voki.

Explore other history interactives and games.

Other sources of online games: