The Avatar system is a form of Alternate Reality Gaming (ARG), which reframes the students negative stress inducing school work as a positive environment wherein their activities advance them through a customized adventure. Together our students and tutors create a world in which what is learned has real meaning.
Part 1: The student creates an Avatar, which is a fictional character. This character can be as realistic or fantastical as the student desires and which can be anything from a football player, to a fashion designer, to a dragon hunting vampire. Together the tutor and the student decide on the character’s goals. Do they want to rule an intergalactic empire? Direct a movie? Win the superbowl? Rule the mafia underworld? All goals are valid, and it is the voyage that matters.
Part 2: The tutor creates challenges for the character or the player. The challenges are activities which involve academically enriching tasks. Each challenge earns the student experience points (XP) The experience points increase their characters basic stats, powers, abilities, or influence.
There are two types of in the game. In character challenges, which take the form of a narrative interaction between the tutor and the student, or in world challenges, whereby the student completes real world activities that advance their Avatar.
"The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work."Richard Bach