“Reality ends here”, PhD thesis on educational ARGs

“Reality ends here: environmental game design and participatory spectacle”, by Jeff Watson


PhD thesis in Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California

Abstract. This document defines the emerging practice of “environmental game design”. This practice is contextualized within a body of theory regarding the production of space and the changing nature of spectacle. Within this context, five interrelated theses regarding environmental game design are presented. These theses are illustrated through discussion and documentation of the central practical component of my doctoral research: Reality Ends Here, an environmental game designed to effect immediate change in the community of learners at the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA). Drawing on the research and methodology underlying the design and implementation of Reality Ends Here, this document argues for the transformative potential of environmental game interventions across a range of domains.