Beth Bonsignore, Ann Fraistat, Kari Kraus, Amanda Visconti
The Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry (AGOG) is a sort of narrative wunderkammer of an alternate reality game (ARG), a “cabinet of curiosities” combining a rich and oftentimes mysteriously fragmented historical tapestry with what Rob MacDougall has called “playful historical thinking.” By incorporating counterfactuals and re-imagining the past, AGOG is designed to lead players into a newly enfranchised relationship with history, teach them STEM and information literacy skills, and help them discover the secret stories outside most history books. In the first full-fledged season of the game, middle school players raced against time to gain cryptographic, archival, cartographic, and inventor skills that would help them prevent a dangerous rift in the course of history. In today’s talk, attendees will also take part in an activity. With each season of the ARG based around a different intriguing lost invention from the Arcane Gallery of Gadgetry, there’s always a new story to uncover, a new rabbit hole to fall down–and it’s never too late to change the past!