Mobile Quest 2011

Playing the City

Designing games in Manhattan

Watch Video


Mobile Quest is a free, week-long summer camp developed by Institute of Play for game-based learning school Quest to Learn. With a focus on systems thinking, game design and mobile technologies, Mobile Quest gives incoming sixth grade students the opportunity to collaborate with experts to turn great ideas into great games. Using full-featured smart phones and the city as their game space, participants learn the fundamentals of game design and geo-locative technologies through play, analysis, design and collaboration.


Mobile Quest’s learning activities empower participants to step into the role of designers, mobile specialists and content creators. A hands-on learning environment provides opportunities for youth to develop skills and dispositions within these new identities, as well as share their expertise and interests with peers. Challenge-based activities are designed to empower participants to imagine the city as a virtual game board where they can superimpose their own stories and play experiences using mobile technologies.

During Mobile Quest participants work with iPhones and iPads; modifiy games using inflatable dice and other game creation materials; design with digital tools; and playtest site-specific games developed with the ARIS platform. The Mobile Quest 2011 curriculum targets systems-thinking skills, creative problem-solving, collaboration and mobile and digital literacy. The camp takes place in and around Quest to Learn in New York City.


The games and  curricular framework  for Mobile Quest 2011 was designed by  Institute of Play. The mobile technology integration was orchestrated by David Carroll, founder of the Center for Mobile Creativity and Director of the MFA Design and Technology graduate program at Parsons the New School for Design. Mobile Quest 2011 is presented through a collaboration between Institute of Play, the New Learning Institute, Pearson Foundation and Quest to Learn.