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My Experiences in Playtesting "Conflict in Little Italy"
NYC Haunts is very creative in its design. It is a program in which youth use ARIS on Ipads to explore historical neighborhoods. I like the idea of exploring neighborhoods with techknowledge. We worked in a nice library. We set up the apps on the iPads and started exploring Little Italy in the afternoon. About six middle school kids participated in the game. The weather was very nice, sunny and not hot. We walked out of the library looking for Jonas, who is a virtual character.
We did a lot of testing before the students actually get to play it. We went to the library two days before the game and pretend we were playing. We learned about each of the virtual characters in the game, and fixed some conversations between players and virtual characters. We walked outside and went to the markets. Surprisingly the locals were so supportive and were very interested in the game we were testing. The chef in the market even tried to tell us stories about this neighborhood.
In my opinion, this is a very successful game. Kids love to use ipads. One of them told me that it was very cool to use an ipad. Some of these kids grew up in this neighborhood, so they were surprised to learn new things about it. They were happy playing the game together and using the ipads.
I think the biggest selling point of this game is its idea. The idea of integrating history and learning into game play is both creative and beneficial for the students. Learning history by exploring neighborhoods is very attractive to kids. For a prototype game, this is quite successful, and I liked it very much. I am looking forward to seeing more chapters of this game.