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agents of influence

THE SPY-THEMED VIDEO GAME THAT TEACHES STUDENTS TO NEUTRALIZE MISINFORMATION.

Dear Agent,

Welcome to Virginia Hall High, a school built on top of the old base of O.O.P.S., a defunct Cold War spy agency.

It's the first day of your freshman year and you learn your grandpa Teddy isn't just a social studies teach at VHH - he's also a retired Cold War-era super-spy.  But that's not all: Teddy's arch-nemesis, Harbinger has returned, and they've used an old device called the Lullaby machine to turn a student into a Sleepwalker. Now, Harbinger and the Sleepwalker are manipulating students at VHH with disinformation schemes for some nefarious purpose.

Being the plucky freshman you are, you and some new friends form the Agents of Influence, a secret student spy organization dedicated to stopping Harbinger's disinformation, uncovering the identity of the Sleepwalker, and saving VHH from almost certain destruction. 

Agents of Influence: Cyber Danger is designed for middle- and high-school classrooms, libraries, after school programs, and even just for fun. The game is currently in development and is set to be released in early 2023.

Stay tuned for a new AoI website, coming soon.

Gameplay

Agents of Influence: Cyber Danger is a module with 7 episodes. Each episode covers a different facet of the misinformation/digital safety landscape.

  • Module 1: introduction to mis- and disinformation

  • Module 2: Algorithms

  • Module 3: Privacy

  • Module 4: Cyberbullying

  • Module 5: Phishing

  • Module 6: Deepfakes

  • Module 7: Data security

Each episode is designed to be played in ~45 minutes so it fit in a classroom period. Each episode covers the story of a new Harbinger scheme that the Agents of Influence have to foil. As this story plays out you encounter challenges in the form of our "core games" that teach critical thinking skills vital to neutralizing misinformation. 

Core game 1: Conversation

You need to talk to someone, with the goal of either drawing information out of them or convincing them to accept information. But you must tread carefully: if you blow your cover the whole operation could come crashing down around you. 

Critical thinking skill: Empathetic Listening

Core game 2: Research

You've tracked a suspect to the secret O.O.P.S. tunnels beneath VHH. Beware of the old traps lying around the tunnels! You'll need to consult AMIE, your digital assistant, and perform lateral reading to avoid a grim fate.

Critical thinking skill: Lateral Reading

Analysis

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You've found a Harbinger device hiding evidence. To break the code and access the device you'll need to use the key: a piece of media with the code embedded in it. Answer T/F questions about the media and earn tiles, placing them on the board to break the code.

Critical thinking skill: Critical Reading

Finale Duel

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In this cumulative challenge, use evidence gathered from throughout the module, plus all three critical thinking skills, to break the spell on the Sleepwalker.

Critical thinking skill: All three

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Educational Design

Agents of Influence is built around three key learning objectives: 

  • Students question the trustworthiness of information.

  • Students determine the trustworthiness of information.

  • Students use this knowledge to inform their decisions and build better information consumption habits.

This game has been designed following a number of educational standards frameworks, including Common Core, CASEL SEL, NAMLE, ISTE, Learning for Justice Digital Literacy Framework, Media Smarts, California Model School Library Standards, and NCSS C3 Framework. A process common to many of these standards is the IRAC process, which stands for Inquiry, Research, Analysis, Conclusion. Our gameplay is designed to take students through this process in each module. 

Want to get involved?

We're working with teachers, librarians, students, principals, superintendents, media literacy experts, Rotary Clubs, game designers, and others to make AoI an amazing game that is played around the world. If you see yourself on that list, and would like to get in touch with us, please email info@altereainc.com with your inquiry.

You may also fill out the interest form below.

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