The Source

PosterFinal1The University of Chicago, in conjunction with the Chicago Summer of Learning, is developing a STEM-based alternate reality game called The Source to be played by youth across Chicago July 8-August 16.

The Source focuses on Adia, a 17-year-old African American girl living in Chicago. The narrative is communicated through a series of webisodes in which Adia speaks from her webcam to the players of the game. One day Adia stumbles across a letter that changes her life. Adia is desperate to figure out what the contents of the letter mean but feels that her mother is overburdening her with extracurricular activities, keeping her from being able to do so. Though Adia is unable to leave her house after she gets home from school, she begins to gamify and crowdsource the letter's mystery, so she can find the answer she is looking for.

The Source is composed of 5 major ludic episodes that involve investigatory tasks, code-breaking challenges, STEAM-based puzzles, and media production opportunities. Participants join ten-player teams to help Adia to reach out to other communities to solve problems and to compete against each other for an ultimate prize.

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Watch a video of The Source created by our partner, the Chicago Summer of Learning!


Check out our digital timeline highlighting moments during The Source

The Source Timeline

Featured Games

Week 1: Power Play

Premise: The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has broken up the GennaRator (TM) energy syndicate's monopoly on Hexacago. Increase your energy output, expand your grid, and emerge as the dominant power in the city.

View the Rules →
View the Power Grid →

Week 2: Caduceus Quest

Premise: Collect a team of health-care professionals to pitch the best proposal for grant money to solve one of Hexacago’s problems.

View the Rules →
View a Character Sheet →

Week 3: Investigation!

Premise: Players assume the role of a detective and cryptologist to reconstruct the events of Abe’s crime. Some information is relevant Some information is relevant to the crime, while others help to reconstruct the identity of Adia’s father. Read through all the clues and put together a police report that reconstructs the day’s events.

View the Rules →
View one of the Investigation Reports →

Week 4: Constellations

Premise: An artificial intelligence named hAIti has taken over Adia's father's site,

View the Hacked Page →

Week 5: Insane in the Mainframe

Premise: hAIti has retreated into his own electronic mind and threatens to spread beyond the confines of The Source. Players must enter his own virtual world to activate Abe Adawale’s failsafe mechanisms in order to restore hAIti to full operating capacity...or destroy him for good.

View the Rules →

Development Blog

Follow the process with Game Changer Chicago designers!

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