Treasure Huntin’ in Second Life

Blind WatchmakerOne 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:

  1. High above the chapel walls lies the great work of Michelangelo.
  2. 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:

  1. Find the place where Viola and Sebastian live on