AwhiWorld 1.0: School Based Alternate Reality Game

Alternate Reality Game |Educational Capacity Building


‘Awhiworld’ was a Alternate Reality Game which was located in and around Edmund Hillary School and Community (Papakura, New Zealand) during 2008.

Dr Maggie Buxton worked with the Curriculum Development Manager of the Decile 1 Edmund Hilary Primary School in South Auckland to create this integrated curriculum environmental and community development programme.
 Teachers integrated their various teaching units within the AwhiWorld theme. The world was accessed via ‘portals’ located in the school garden and in the playing fields. From time to time visitors appeared mysteriously through the portals to give the children information that would assist them to save the world from environmental destruction – this was then processed through writing and visual arts activities.

Gatekeepers were also vital to AwhiWorld and were analysed as a social studies unit to understand their values and how they played a role within the neighbourhood and school culture. Children spent time identifying their qualities and seeing how these qualities could be fostered in themselves.

Later, at the guidance of some other mysterious portal visitors children constructed gatekeepers out of recycled materials and placed them to guard the vital school garden portal.
One day transdisciplinary practitioner Raewyn Turner arrived through a portal and led the children in a forensic examination and evidence gathering expedition locating and logging hidden portals in the school. This supported maths learning – particularly map making and measurements.
Local police assisted with some of the theatrical elements by delivering mysterious messages on CDs from interdimensional beings to school assemblies.
All of this work was integrated completely within the curriculum so that goals for social studies, maths, science, and health curriculum were met via the activities and work to ‘discover’ Awhiworld.
AwhiWorld was situated within a larger, mainstream community development project instigated by local police and conducted in partnership with the school, local marae, local council and Housing NZ. At the time the project was not digitally enabled but it set the stage for later AwhiWorld activities.

A write up of the project appeared in FOAM Brussels Libarynth Project. 

AwhiWorld was kindly funded by the European Culture 2000 Programme.

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