New Design Principles for Mobile History Games

By Owen Gottlieb

This study draws on design-based research on an ARIS–based mobile augmented reality game for teaching early 20th century history. New design principles derived from the study include the use of supra-reveals, and bias mirroring. Supra-reveals are a kind of foreshadowing event in order to ground historical happenings in the wider enduring historical understanding. Bias mirroring refers to a nonplayer character echoing back a player’s biased behavior, in order to open the player to listening to alternative perspectives. Supra-reveals engendered discussion of historical themes early in the game experience. The results showed that use of a cluster of NPC bias mirroring techniques enhanced student ability to articulate points of view previously unavailable to them.

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Owen Gottlieb is a scholar, game designer, rabbi and screenwriter. Visit his website
and the trailer for his new game.

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