These are pieces that I’ve written or helped write, and that have been (or will be) published or presented. Some are available for download.


Martin J. (2010). Using Mobile Games to Develop Identity and Connection to Community and Place. Presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in Denver, CO. April 30-May 4, 2010. (1MB PDF)

Abstract: Arising out of a case study examining an Augmented Reality (AR) experience, this paper examines how the activity remediated a sense of identity and place in a community for several groups of boys over three summers. The AR activity enriched participants’ level of interaction with place and a community within a short period of time. It encouraged participants’ collaboration and connection to each other within teams, and placed teams within a deeper community context. Moreover, it situated participants’ activity and sense of community within a historical understanding of the culture of place.

Martin J. (2010). Gaming the Outdoors: Motivating Interaction with Place Through Mobile Games. Presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in Denver, CO. April 30-May 4, 2010. (147k PDF)

Abstract: Reframing learning ‘work’ into ‘fun’ to promote intrinsic motivation is an age-old teaching strategy (Locke, 1963; Lepper & Henderlong, 2000), and in educational technology research since the beginning (Malone, 1980). Introduction of fantasy elements further increases learner motivation (see, for example, Parker & Lepper, 1992). This paper focuses on how an Augmented Reality (AR) video game re-creation of a natural world hiking game motivated campers to ‘work playfully’ on hiking trips — fostering deep connections to community and culture.

Martin, J, Holden, C., Mathews, J., Squire, K. (forthcoming). “The Importance of Player Experiences in a Deep Woods Location-Aware Game.” In preparation for a theme issue of the Personal and Ubiquitous Journal on Player Experiences in Location Aware Games – Methodological Issues.

Martin, J. (2009). New Narrative Models in Mobile Games. Presented at the International Congress for Qualitative Inquiry at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign. May 20-23, 2009.

Abstract: The Mystery Trip is a unique location-aware game that restructures a four-day hiking trip in the mountains of a Northeast U.S. summer camp. Campers were charged to play and modify a ‘seed’ game to begin a self-cycling cultural artifact for maintaining and advancing the camp community. This paper analyzes player experiences and the successes and failures of the research in order to come up with game design scaffolds and models that are not “too much like school.” The paper examines and modifies narrative design theories to fit new media forms of storytelling, such as Augmented Reality video games.

Martin J. (in preparation). Real Places for Virtual People: Physical Space in Collaborative Communities.

Abstract: In the study of video games, avatars, and online spaces, the physical body and its needs are sometimes put on hold while their online activities are scrutinized. This paper considers the physical spaces of a small community of digital researchers as it has grown over four years. It suggests that not only do these bodies and the personalities associated with them benefit from environments that support their physical needs, but when effective physical places are built to support a strong collaborative community, the process of learning is greatly enhanced, and the quantity and quality of research produced by increases significantly.

Martin J. (in preparation). My Local Stories: Kids Designing Place-Based Augmented Reality Games.

Abstract: This paper chronicles the successes and failures of four years of designing environments where kids create their own GPS-assisted place-based video games. Since 2004, the author has researched augmented reality (AR) games to give narrative structure to hiking trips, and to let kids to create their own AR adventures. A greatly simplified editor was developed that allowed in-field creation of games with immediate feedback of results. This Remote Editor was used to create simple AR mini-games and tours created by 10-16 year old boys at a rural residential summer camp, and by kids in an urban after-school setting. The paper reviews the evolution of design components for a variety of settings.

Martin J. (2009). Where Boys Can Be Boys: Investigating Cultural Models at a Woods Camp. Presented at the American Educational Research Association annual meeting in San Diego, CA. April 13-17, 2009. 550k PDF.

Abstract: Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) suggests a somewhat circular process of identity influence, and posits that what we believe and value is revealed in our activity; and conversely, what we do is influenced by the beliefs of the community of which we are a part. This paper considers the continuity and breakdown of cultural models at a traditional New England camp for boys over time, and raises questions on how and why the cultural models have evolved. Interviews and identity artifacts of recent campers are compared with historical camp artifacts in order to better understand how the cultural models have developed, and what forms of cultural narratives are most effective in promoting and preserving attitudes and belief systems.

Martin J. (2008). Into the Woods: Fear, Masculinity, and Video Games Hit the Trail. Presented at the CUFA/NCSS (College and University Faculty Assembly / National Council for Social Studies Annual) Conference (link). Houston, Texas. November 14-16, 2008. (256KB PDF

Abstract: This paper addresses paradoxes and controversies that arose in the investigation of the introduction of a place-based Augmented Reality (AR) video game into the culture of a traditional boys camp. The introduction of a certain type of technology challenged the cultural models held by some campers in the camp community, especially in areas regarding tradition, environmentalism, and models of masculinity. Foremost, as a video game at a “primitive” deep woods camp for boys that has no electricity and telephone, it bucks a culture that is sometimes disdainful of certain manifestations of technology (e.g. LED flashlights and high-tech garments are good, but iPods are bad). Secondarily, in encouraging players to go off main trails in order to avoid enemy scouts, the game narrative contradicts a basic tenet of environmental Leave-No-Trace guidelines — to stay on trails. Finally, while some boys attributed the addition of GPS and games to opening up the possibility of “more hard-core” trip, some felt the high-tech navigational aids (vs. map and compass on a typical trip) emasculated them. For a few, framing the hiking trip through a “silly” game narrative trivialized their experience.

Martin, J. (2009). Gaming the Wild: Developing Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds for a Woods Camp. In de Souza e Silva, A & Sutko, D (Eds.). Hybrid Reality Games: Reconfiguring social and urban networks via locative media.

Abstract: What happens when a trail is more than a trail? When a hike becomes a quest? When “Leave No Trace” is transformed through a game narrative from an environmental ideology into a game strategy? This case study investigates the informal learning that occurs in a Place-Based Inquiry (PBI) experience at a summer camp where a traditional hiking trip was transformed into a game to save the camp. Place-Based Inquiry posits that place shapes identity and learning — and identity and learning shape place. We live and learn to live in a culturally relevant, physical world. We learn its stories and its rules, and then we redesign and redesign and interpret the physical world and those stories and rules to better fit our needs and perspectives. Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds (ARGHs) situate these tenets as deeply embodied experiences highlighting immersive connections with culturally relevant places. They include unique and naturally emergent phenomena associated with group hiking experiences, such as tiredness, rain, and in-group joking, and supplement these direct connections with virtual layers of just-in-time place-specific information through GPS-triggered artifacts that appear on the game screen. Artifacts include game narrative that drives the ARGH forward with camp-culture jokes and community-building stories created by the players’ peers in previous ARGH incarnations. The Mystery Trip, a series of evolving ARGHs played on GPS-enabled handheld computers, was designed, played, and redesigned by different groups of a community of boys for three summers. The game space covered sixteen square miles of woods and mountains around the camp and each game took place over the course of a four-day trip. In one game narrative, they had to climb to three mountain peaks in order to triangulate a radio transmission sent out by an invading rival camp, stay off main trails in order to avoid enemy scouts, and practice Leave-No-Trace ethics in order to remain undiscovered. In another game narrative, they searched for remains of a lost campsite that their fathers and grandfathers might have used before it had been logged and slashed over. Relative to non-game hiking experiences, these augmented reality activities resulted in the following findings:

  1. The unfolding narrative of the augmented reality game motivated players to continue — they wanted to know what happened next.
  2. Narrative prompts persuaded players to take more challenging routes, while GPS-tracking reassured the players that they would not get lost.
  3. Seeing themselves represented and tracked on the mobile device as they moved through an area reframed players’ perspectives of place, self, and identity within their community.
  4. Prompted to critique and redesign the game for the camp, players felt that they were contributing to the community, and thus expended more time and effort on the activity.

On ARGH trips, players developed more of a sense of place than they did on non-game trips. They nurtured a more culturally- and sensory-rich understanding of the land around the camp where the ARGH occurred, not only by playing the game or by hiking through it, but because they participated in an embodied process of creation and further development of a sociocultural artifact that their community of practice valued, while having their own personal narrative experience. The affordances of ARGH technology in restructuring and reframing activities into more culturally meaningful and relevant experiences offers a chance for educators to ground the content they teach in Place-Based Inquiry. Through it, we can create pedagogically-rich paths within already-significant places. By connecting the learning of new content to meaningful practice in physical place, we can tap into deeply embodied pedagogies of sensation in our experiences — not with bodies, but as sensing and moving bodies, with cultural understandings that mediate our conscious experiences.

Martin, J., Mathews, J., Jan M., Holden, C. (2008) Restructuring Activity and Place: Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds. In Proceedings of the International Conference of Learning Sciences. Utrecht, Netherlands. June 24-28, 2008. (link) (950KB PDF)

Abstract: Human activities are constrained by interconnected and overlapping factors of: biological abilities, time, space, and social narratives. I focus on how the interplay between two of these factors, space and narratives, can be mediated with cultural tools of locative technologies such as Augmented Reality games and GPS units. In order to understand how place-based pedagogies affect learning and how locative technologies, like Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds (ARGHs), help connect learners to cultures of place I examine experiences with place-based video games in a deep woods camping environment. Drawing together research in sociocultural learning, design, embodiment, environmental education, experiential education, human geography, and video games, this paper demonstrates how ARGHs can restructure a learning activity to (1) better connect learners to place, (2) increase and mediate their physical activity and social interactions, and (3) help enculturate them into a community of practice.

Martin, J. (2008). Making Video Games in the Woods: An Unlikely Partnership Connects Kids to Their Environment. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. New York, March 24-29, 2008. (360KB PDF)

Abstract: Video games and computers have been derided as “inside” technologies that pull kids away from the outdoors. They are said to cause kids to connect less with, and value less, their outdoor environments. Rather than fight the pull of these inside technologies and their attraction to kids, we have developed a handheld outdoor GPS-enabled video game platform that attempts to build in the lure of video games and online social spaces, and connect them with real places. Kids play a place-based hiking video game, and then help redesign it for their peers. This paper examines the successes and failures of a three-year case study of incorporating place-based Augmented Reality games at a deep woods camp for boys.

Martin, J., Jan, M., Mathews, J. Holden, C. (2008). Gaming My Community: Kids Designing Local Video Games. Presented at the American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. New York, March 24-29, 2008. (1MB PDF)

Abstract: What happens when teens design Augmented Reality (AR) games about their neighborhood? This paper presents a cross-case analysis of projects aimed at providing teenaged boys and girls the opportunity to learn about, design, and implement location-based games and tours of their neighborhood. The paper explores a series of AR game design experiments in diverse settings that guided teenage boys and girls using digital cameras, GPS-enabled handheld computers, and their own perspectives and stories, to document their community and create games. The paper describes the evolution of the design-process that guided the creation of the games, including the incorporation of the kids’ own ideas; examines the logistical and technology-related challenges faced in each setting; and analyzes the evolution of the design approaches overall in order to come up with ideas on how to proceed in the future.

Martin, J. (2008). Gaming and Reframing Experiences with Place-Based Inquiry. Presented at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May 14-17, 2008. (1MB PDF)

Abstract: The Internet and video games have taken hold of our lives. The upcoming generation has been raised on video games. With so much time spent in virtual space, what will become of human connection to real places? Augmented Reality Games on Handhelds (ARGHs) — GPS-enabled video games on mobile computers — bridge the connection between real and virtual space by adding a layer of cultural data onto real places. My research at a deep woods camp for boys employs Place-Based Inquiry through a series of ARGH experiences that reframe space through community values, fostering a deeper connection to camp community and the cultures of place. This type of learning connects community content to meaningful practice in physical place. It taps into deeply embodied pedagogies of sensation through experiences — not with bodies, but as sensing and moving bodies with cultural understandings that mediate most of our conscious experiences.

Martin, J. (2007). Mapping Stories: Video Games Hit the Trails. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, April 9-13, 2007. (1.5MB PDF)

Abstract: GPS-assisted augmented reality technologies open new frontiers for place-based pedagogies. Through a case study examining the activity of playing and iteratively redesigning a place-specific video game at a deep woods summer camp, this paper links sociocultural learning and place-based activity in order to consider how playing and designing place-based augmented reality games deeply embodies and situates learning. Participants simultaneously play, critique, and redesign place-based handheld augmented reality games — comparable to multilevel geocaching, where players physically move through their environment and solve problems to attain goals. Active participation in the game/narrative of their experience gave participants increased connection to their culture.

Squire, K.D., Jan, M., Matthews, J., Wagler, M., Martin, J., Devane, B. & Holden, C. (2007). Wherever you go, there you are: The design of local games for learning. In B. Sheldon & D. Wiley (Eds). The design and use of simulation computer games in education (8.5MB PDF), (pp. 265-296). Rotterdam, Netherlands: Sense Publishing.

Squire, K., Mathews, J., Holden, C., Martin, J. Jan, M., Johnson, C., & Wagler, M. (forthcoming). Sick at South Beach. Article submitted to Cognition & Instruction.

Jan, M; Mathews, J., Holden, C., Martin, J. (2008). Designing an Augmented Reality Game-based Curriculum. In Proceedings of the International Conference of Learning Sciences. Utrecht, Netherlands. June 24-28, 2008. (27K PDF)

Mathews, J,. Holden, C., Jan, M,. Martin, J. (2008). Sick at South Shore Beach: A Place-Based Augmented Reality Game as a Framework for Building Evidence-Based Arguments. In Proceedings of the International Conference of Learning Sciences. Utrecht, Netherlands. June 24-28, 2008. (149K PDF)

Squire, K., Mathews, J., Jan, M., Holden, C., Martin, J. (2008). Designing Place-Based Augmented Reality Games for Literacy. In Proceedings of the International Conference of Learning Sciences. Utrecht, Netherlands. June 24-28, 2008.

Jan, M., Squire, K., Martin, J., Holden C., Wagler, M., & Matthews, J. (Living document since July 2007). Saving Lake Wingra. (Augmented reality game design and curriculum available from UW Academic Co-Lab, 222 West Washington Avenue, Suite 470, Madison, WI 53703-2793).

Martin, J.G., Martin, J.C., Tlusty R. (1998). The Chippewa Valley Virtual Museum. A student tool for local historical inquiry. Online and CD-ROM versions. University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Squire, K.D., Jan, M., Matthews, J., Wagler, M., Martin, J., Devane, B. & Holden, C. (2007). Wherever You Go, There You Are: Place-Based Augmented Reality Games for Learning. Presented at American Educational Research Association Annual Meeting. Chicago, April 9-13, 2007.

Jan, M; Martin, J. (2006). Greenbush Handheld Augmented Reality Game. Presented at The Greenbush: Past, Present, Future. Madison, Wisconsin, May 2, 2006.

Martin, J.C., Martin, J.G., Tlusty R. (1998). The Chippewa Valley Virtual Museum On-Line. Presented at the Northwestern Wisconsin Education Association. Eau Claire, October 8, 1998.

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