One of the other activities that we have been undertaking has involved the idea of going on a treasure hunt in the Second Life environment. So far, Fiona Littleton has devised two such hunts and has given the players just a brief clue to get them on their way. These being:
- High above the chapel walls lies the great work of Michelangelo.
- In an Augustinian garden, play with these laws.
The first one was easy, the Sistine Chapel on Vassar Island. The second was a little harder as it required a little more research outside of Second Life before the treasure hunt could begin; but we would be eventually rewarded once we had worked out that it was Mendel’s Garden on Genome Island.
These Second Life treasure hunts had a number of purposes, first of which was to give players the opportunity to become familiar with the Second Life environment; another one, was an opportunity to see the diverse nature of uses, constructs and artefacts within Second Life; finally, there is an opportunity to see how “treasure hunts” in Second Life could be used for creating a learning experience.
One of the of most potent themes to surface from this module is that people like games to have a degree of acceptable challenge-ness, i.e. it shouldn’t be too easy and it shouldn’t be too hard. The treasure hunt, like the WebQuest, is, for me, an intellectual pursuit to “unlock the puzzle” – it’s not about being first or to receive the reward at the end; it is about the “challenge” itself and to succeed in that “challenge” to the best of my abilities – the “challenge” therefore becomes a personal quest to see how well I can perform.
UPDATE – 02.04.2009
The final clue from Fiona is:
- Find the place where Viola and Sebastian live on