Secrets of the south

A location-based game for the development of 21<sup>st</sup> century social skills and promotion of social interaction

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Abstract

Location-based games (LBGs) successfully promote playful experiences engaging millions of players throughout the world. The potential of embedding such location-based experiences in educational practice has been recognised but not yet fully embraced. LBGs and educational location-based applications have been used to enhance critical thinking, but not for the acquisition and development of 21st century skills: key competences required to understand, live and thrive in the local communities of today. This paper introduces the LBG 'Secrets of the South', designed to orchestrate social interaction in public space, and foster communication, collaboration, IT literacy, and social/cultural skills through 1) interaction-based social encounters with both friends and unknown members of the community, and 2) in-situ learning about the history and social context of the neighbourhood. A 4-step general procedure is proposed for the creation of LBGs designed to foster 21st century skills.