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MU Engages Students, Community with New High-Tech Interactive Game

REBOOT Mizzou uses smart phone apps to interact with participants

February 15th, 2012

Story Contact: Nathan Hurst, 573-882-6217, hurstn@missouri.edu
This week, the University of Missouri begins a one-of-a-kind technology-based online game that will engage students and community members in a new way. The game, called REBOOT Mizzou, will last for 10 weeks, from Feb. 12 to April 22. Like a traditional scavenger hunt, Reboot players will complete multiple missions and visit assigned locations. Participants may travel by bus, bike, skateboard or on foot to specific locations where they can check in by scanning a Quick Response (QR) code with their smartphones or tablets. Hannah Sims, a REBOOT organizer and graduate student in the MU public health program, believes the game will teach participants new things about technology and the environment.

 “This project is about getting people to interact with each other in ways they haven’t interacted before,” Sims said. “REBOOT uses technology as a vehicle to improve relationships, the environment and the community.

 Teams can consist of MU students and members of the local community. Only one person on each team needs to own a smartphone or tablet to play. There must be at least two players on each team, but team sizes can be unlimited. Weekly prizes will be awarded to the winning teams with a grand prize given at the end to the overall winner. While the game started on Feb. 12, teams can register and start at any time.

 The 10 weeks following the kickoff will headline respective themes for the hunt, each announced at the beginning of the week through video “transmissions” from the future. Peter Meng, a fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute at MU and a REBOOT organizer says the gameplay will teach participants many things about how technology relates to their environment.

 “Technology has become a part of our lives, but not a part of our whole environment,” Meng said. “We want to show people that technology can free you from your office, so you can get out and discover more of what is around you. We hope this game will teach people about the health and well-being of the environment and an appreciation for what is around us.”

 Reboot is supported by a grant from the MU Division of Information Technology, along with efforts from the MU Sustainability Office, MTE Meridian LLC, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Student Sustainability, Mizzou Advantage and Sustain Mizzou.

 Currently, there are 25 teams and 137 participants taking part in REBOOT Mizzou.

 For more information about Reboot Mizzou, visit: reboot.missouri.edu/

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