Horizns – an augmented reality, collaborative storytelling game

Horizns logo 1_croppedHorizns is my thesis project for the M.A. Program in Digital Media Design for Learning at NYU, created (in 2015) using the ARIS (Augmented Reality Interactive Storytelling) platform.

Here’s the back-of-the-box description:

Playable by anyone aged 12 and up, Horizns is a narrative-based, augmented reality (AR) game ultimately designed for collaborative storytelling in grades 7-12 ELA and/or Social Studies classrooms.

Players begin by participating in the (fictional) “Horizns Rewards Program,” an AR tour of the history of Times Square, NYC. The plot takes a dark turn, however, as players must “dystopify” the world around them; and everyone’s best chance at escaping a dire future means interacting with the dystopian visions of others.

If you’re interested in my (six-minute) talk introducing Horizns to attendees of the ECT-DMDL Design Expo (5/15/15), you can find it here. [Warning: Contains spoilers! ;-)]

My general aim with this project was to make something that was a) genuinely constructivist and constructionist; and b) a genuinely engaging gaming experience. More specifically, as far as learning theory goes, the  game’s design is ultimately driven by the notion of “Social Imagination,” which Maxine Greene defines as learners’ “capacity to invent visions of what should be and what might be in our deficient society, on the streets where we live, and in our schools” (Releasing the Imagination, 2005, p. 5). And for a bit more on the theory behind Horizns‘ design, please feel free to check out my Design Expo poster (pdf).