Civil War Alternate Reality Game in May 2011!

23 Mar

For teachers and students throughout the world: There will be an educational Civil War “alternate reality” game beginning May 15th, 2011, hosted by the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA.

The game, titled “The Jewel of the Valleys,” is being run in support of the fundraiser “In Their Footsteps: On the March in Pennsylvania,” which benefits the education department of the Museum.

The game will run the length of the fundraiser, in which the brave museum curator, Brett Kelley, will again choose to live the life of a Civil War soldier for two weeks. Last year, Brett chose to live outdoors as a Union soldier (and it coincided with two of the nastiest northeastern blizzards) last February. This year, Brett will be traveling as a Confederate soldier by foot from Fredericksburg, VA to Harrisburg.

The game will kick off with a “QR code” and web address being sent to educators and students around the country. The website will detail a dark and mysterious puzzle to be solved through the use of Civil War era communication technologies and authentic Civil War documents in the Museum’s archives.

Students may work collaboratively are on their own to follow the mystery. The  ultimate objective of the game is to solve the mystery of “The Jewel of the Valleys.” The winner(s) of the game will be announced as Brett reaches the end of his journey- the Civil War Museum in Harrisburg.

How can teachers get their students involved? Make contact by following the National Civil War Museum on Facebook or on Twitter (@NCWM), follow Brett Kelley on Twitter (@cwsoldier24_7), or subscribe to this blog.

This blog will also hail the beginning of the game, and it has been rumored that the mysterious force behind the “Jewel of the Valleys” game may even have social media accounts for students to follow!

Questions? Check the comments below:


7 Responses to “Civil War Alternate Reality Game in May 2011!”

  1. dan April 28, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    How long does the game last? Our school ends on 5/26 and that is finals week.

    • onthemarch April 28, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

      The game is scheduled to end May 30th, as Brett Kelley arrives in Harrisburg. Students (or anyone, for that matter) can certainly play on their own. Thanks for the message, feel free to spread the news if you can, it’s certainly for a great cause!

  2. Pam Schaffner May 10, 2011 at 2:15 pm #

    How will the game be set up? Will their be daily tasks, lesson plans to follow etc.? Can you please email me some more information? Thank you

    • onthemarch May 10, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

      The game will begin with the first clue on May 15th, thereafter clues will be available roughly daily, with links to primary documents and other media. Please join the wiki we set up for student collaboration at!
      Thanks, and we hope to see you and your students in the game!

      • Gabe Warner May 10, 2011 at 5:39 pm #

        How do I make sure I am fully subscribed and Where do I get the information every day?

      • onthemarch May 10, 2011 at 5:51 pm #

        Subscribe to this blog, and join our wiki (I see you already joined). Some clues and info will be out on the web for students (or the general public) to discover themselves. Thanks for playing, and spread the word if you can!


  1. Alternate Reality Games as Authentic History Games | Play The Past - April 26, 2011

    […] in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, The Jewel of the Valleys seeks to link history and technology. As the ARG’s blog explains: The game will kick off with a “QR code” and web address being sent to educators and […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: