A Reality Game to Cross Disciplines: Fostering Networks and Collaboration

Stokes Benjamin Watson Jeff Fullerton Tracy Wiscombe Simon
2014 DiGRA '13 - Proceedings of the 2013 DiGRA International Conference: DeFragging Game Studies

The rise of reality gaming introduces a new possibility: that games can directly shape real-world networks, even as they educate. Network relations and skills are associated with career growth, educational attainment and even civic participation. Using methods of network analysis, this paper investigates the game "Reality Ends Here" over two years. The semester-long game is designed for freshmen university students, and is deliberately kept underground, which is rare in education. The game fosters multimedia production by small student groups, with hundreds of team submissions created each semester. This paper seeks to advance the formative use of network analysis for games that address human capital in education. Findings confirm that a player’s network centrality correlates with their game score. Team formation was biased by gender and academic discipline, but appears within acceptable levels. Implications are discussed for how game performance can be tied to various network indicators.