Mobile augmented reality game Agents of Discovery adds Alberta missions

Kids try out Alberta Explorer as Agents of Discovery launches in the province, June 20, 2018. Global News

Agents of Discovery, a mobile game and augmented reality platform, has teamed up with six partners in Alberta to launch 12 challenge locations across the province.

“The campaign aims to get Alberta youth and families outdoors, active and exploring the province this summer,” said Oliver Eberle, an account executive with Agents of Discovery. “It’s a great family activity you can do on the weekend or on weeknights.”

The Alberta Explorer game worked with six different partners to create educational and interactive challenges.

“We’re working with the Alberta legislature, Alberta Parks, Edmonton Valley Zoo, Bow Habitat Station, Jurassic Forest and the Telus World of Science too.

“Through that partnership we have about a dozens locations that they can access in this game.”

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It may sound a lot like the mobile game that sent millions of smartphone users into parks and other local destinations two years ago.

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“We actually launched before Pokemon Go so we had a lot of the augmented reality features already implemented,” Eberle said. “But Pokemon Go really showed us the power of mobile gaming to get youth active.”

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The app is free on Google Play and the App Store and can be added to and customized.

“Educators, no matter what sector they’re in, can create content in the platform, publish it and then… the players download the game… It’s like a plug-and-play model where they can drop that content in their mission.

“Mobile gaming has traditionally made youth become more sedentary and live more sedentary lifestyles,” Eberle said.

“With Agents of Discovery, educators can get them active and outdoors and learning about wildlife, parks, history.”

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There are a list of challenges, including trivia questions as well as scavenger-hunt type tasks, in each mission, including the one at the legislature.

“They’ll learn about different historical figures that may have been involved at the legislature at some point, premiers, also learn about the architecture that went into creating the legislature. Or, for example, there’s a question about having them count the number of light bulbs on the legislature steps.

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“You can start to get an idea how it’s really interactive and it encourages the players to look around them and not just stare at their screen and learn about what’s around them to solve the answers.”

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Once the specific mission is downloaded, the game can be played without WiFi or data.

Currently, Alberta, B.C. and Manitoba have Agents of Discovery missions but there are hopes to expand. In total, there are close to 200 locations across North America with plans to launch in New Zealand, India and the U.K.

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