The Library Adventure ARG Toolkit is a project funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for 2012-2014 designed to enable academic libraries to create an alternate reality game to expose players to library resources. I am the PI of the project, and the MIT Education Arcade has been a consulting partner.
The current iteration of the toolkit is focused on the needs of academic libraries. The project started with a Delphi study of academic libraries to determine the technology and game design requirements; this created numerous challenges due to the restrictions typically associated with computer for public access in the library. The librarian develops five multiple-choice questions that are used as the core of the game. For each question, the player will have to find one or more resources in the library, and as they explore these resources, they will learn about what is in the library and how to locate it.
In order to make this game more meaningful than just a library scavenger hunt, there is a narrative that places the character in the midst of an information battle between two sides. In addition, all of the questions are around a controversial topic that is meaningful to the community or to the department, and the player goes through a reflection process during the game in order to end up with a more informed opinion that they then share with other players.