Waking Wakefield is an Alternate Reality Game funded by Wakefield Council as part of the Festival of the Earth 2021. It engages both young and old in making small, sustainable changes to their lives to fight the climate crisis.
The game is free to play to anyone anywhere, you only need a device with an Internet connection.
Hi and welcome to Waking Wakefield, the Alternate Reality Game about the climate crisis. It’s free to play to anyone anywhere. All you need is a device with an Internet connection. It’s also suitable for anyone with ages ranging from three right through to grown-ups. Younger players, of course, will need support and help.
Alternate reality games are played both in the virtual world and in the physical world. In this case, the virtual element is played out across some web pages and the physical element is played out just in your everyday life. When you begin Waking Wakefield, you’ll go to this page first where you’ll watch a video which sets the tone of the whole story. You’ll learn that mythical beings that used to live on the Earth have returned to check on how we’re doing.
They’ve found the climate in crisis and are quite frustrated with humanity as a result. Some of that group of fae want to bring the rest of all of the fairy tale creatures back to Earth in order to kick humanity off the planet. But some of them want to give us another chance. Now it’s our job to convince them that we have what it takes to take care of the environment. Having watched the video, you’re going to be all ready to save the world and you’ll click to do exactly that. This will take you through to actually meet those fairy tale creatures that have returned at the moment. Here they are, there are six of them all based around Wakefield District.
That doesn’t mean you have to be in Wakefield District to play the game. You can be anywhere but if you are in Wakefield District, you’ll recognise the localities and you’ll also recognise maybe some of these mythological beings. Every one of these characters has specific things that they’re interested in about the environment. Rombald the Giant cares most about our connection with nature and Hilde the Gnome, who we’re going to look at, cares about how we use our resources. So we could go ahead and click her Resource Quests. Each character has their own set of quests. If you were to click Hilde’s Resource Quests, it would take you straight to this section here. All the quests are actually on this main page, but it’s useful to be able to go from one character straight through to their quests, which will take you to something that will look similar to this: a picture, a note from the character and two drop-downs. The drop-downs are actually the quests.
We’re going to have a little look at the Tech Smart Quest. There will always be an infographic and there will always then be some text on the right hand side. The infographic is there to be a helpful and accessible visual to help you understand some of the key issues. Over here on the right hand side, you can see what it is you can do about the issue, plus links to other resources that can help you look after the environment.
To complete a quest, you simply fill in the form which will always appear at the bottom of the specific quest you’re working on. Add a username and an email address.
I haven’t made it a requirement that you include an email address because it’s important that you have a choice to opt out of that. If you do include an email address, it isn’t used for anything except to email you points, notes from the characters, level-ups, badges and the story elements. You’ll include a quest title, and you’ll make a few notes about what it is you’ve done or what it is you are going to do, in this case, to be Tech Smart.
If you don’t really like writing all that much, you might prefer to upload a video, or some images, or an audio file. You’ll have to write a few words here, but the main body of what you’ve done can exist as a file upload if you prefer. When you’ve completed all of that, remember to click the GDPR agreement and Complete Quest. That then goes to an administrator who will check everything that you’ve done before publishing it to the Waking page.This is the equivalent of a classroom wall. It’s also where you come so that you can see what other people have done. You may even notice some of the characters occasionally commenting on your specific quest, and that makes it even more fun.
There are twelve set quests in total, but you might want to keep on going. If you keep going, you’ll get to the end of the story and hopefully save the world.
If you’re a teacher, you might find it useful to click on the ‘For Teachers’ section. That gives you some ideas from how you might decide to use Waking Wakefield in the classroom. It also gathers all of the quests in one place.
Every single quest includes a checklist that can be downloaded so that players don’t have to work online all the time. For teachers that’s all arranged in one place here to make it as easy as possible for you to download worksheets that can be completed very simply in classrooms.
And that’s how you play Waking Wakefield.
It’s super simple.
It’s good fun.
Everything is achievable and sustainable, and as you play, you’ll find out more about the characters, and hopefully you’ll even save the world