Mobile Quest 2012 - Chicago

Playing the City

Designing mobile games in Chicago

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Mobile Quest is a free, week-long summer camp underwritten by the New Learning Institute and developed by Institute of Play for game-based learning school Chicago Quest. 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; modify games using inflatable dice and other game creation materials; design with digital tools; and play-test site-specific games developed with the ARIS platform. The Mobile Quest curriculum targets systems-thinking skills, creative problem-solving, collaboration and mobile and digital literacy. The camp takes place at DePaul University and around Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois.