During the week of March 17, students participated in a new game on campus, Navis, designed by Trinity alumna Laura Schluckebier. Various teams participated in the campus wide scavenger hunt, filled with different challenges. Teams followed clues from the Navis webpage, searching for more hints around campus and engaging in team challenges throughout that involved Trinity trivia, creative endeavors and physical trials.
The game was intended to be a trial run for first-year orientation and will teach first-years about the campus and skills necessary for success. While the game was open to everyone on campus, Schluckebier hopes to have the program set up for first-years at various institutions in the near future as a tool for learning.
“The goal of the entire game is to essentially navigate the campus and to make bonds with your fellow teammates,” Schluckebier said. “Also, part of it is more subtle, it teaches various skills needed at any university: cooperation, organization and initiative.”
The game was designed when Schluckebier decided to combine past experience of similar games to make an alternate reality game geared towards universities, as a way to introduce freshman to campus.
“I had a couple of different inspirations for the game,” Schluckebier said. “I worked on an alternate reality game beforehand and I also had to organize an intern organization game for a company I worked at; they wanted to have a way to get everyone to know each other and involved in the company.”
Participants of the game, while not all first-years, saw the game as a great opportunity for anyone involved. To junior Monica Clifford, the game would work well for first-years, bringing them together to form bonds but also learn about the school they are attending.
“I think this game would work wonderfully in an orientation setting as it’s a great way to bring students together with a common goal,” Clifford said. “Not only do you get to know the campus as you search for the clues, but you also get to solve trivia questions about the history of Trinity and participate in fun, creative, team-building exercises for points.”
Likewise, to sophomore Zach Galvin, the idea of an orientation game like this is one that would be quite successful for newcomers to the university.
“I think that as a freshman this game would have huge potential, not just in teaching you about your campus, but also to help you get out and meet new people within the first couple of days,” Galvin said. “It allows for students to learn in a fun and interactive way.”
For each participant, the game was full of different ways to play and each participant favored a different part, from the team exercises to simply exploring campus.
“My favorite part was simply searching for the clues themselves,” Clifford said. “Laura had put up pictures of the location for each clue so we had fun determining where on campus the picture depicted.”
While the final implementation will certainly be different than the test runs, Schluckebier is hopeful that the game will be successful in teaching and getting first-years involved in the orientation process and form lasting bonds and memories.
“Running it in March will be different than in August when you have a more captive audience who really want to get out and meet people,” Schluckebier said. It will be a different concept but I am confident it will be successful in that sense as well.”