Games and Learning/Topics/Case Studies/QuestAtlantis

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Quest Atlantis (QA) is an international learning and teaching project that uses a 3D multi-user environment to immerse children, ages 9-16, in educational tasks. QA combines strategies used in the commercial gaming environment with lessons from educational research on learning and motivation. Participation in this game is designed to enhance the lives of children while helping them grow into knowledgeable, responsible, and empathetic adults.


Barab, S. A.; Dodge, T.; Ingram-Goble, A.; Volk, C.; Peppler, K.; Pettyjohn, P. & Solomou, M. (2009), Pedagogical Dramas and Transformational Play: Narratively-Rich Games for Learning, in I.A. Iurgel; N. Zagalo & P. Petta, ed., 'Interactive Storytelling' , Springer Berlin, Heidelberg , pp. 332-335.

Whereas traditionally stories involve an author, a performer, and an audience, much of the power of videogames as media for advancing narrative springs from their affordance for the player to occupy more than one role—and sometimes all three—simultaneously. In the narratively-rich videogames that we design, players have the opportunity to perform actions, experience consequences, and reflect on the underlying social values that these situations were designed to engage. Here, our focus is on the use of these games to engage children in experiencing ideological struggles associated with realizing social commitments. Toward this end, we will present our theoretical argument for the power of games as a contemporary story medium, grounding this discussion in the demonstration of three game design projects and their implementations.