Patrick Jagoda

A Labyrinth

alternate reality game

2020

Game Directors: Patrick Jagoda and Heidi Coleman 
Interface and Game Mistress: Ashlyn Sparrow
Interactive Video Design: Marc Downie   
Quest Designers: Heidi Coleman, Patrick Jagoda, Kristen Schilt, and Ashlyn Sparrow

Narrative: Heidi Coleman and Patrick Jagoda
Puzzle Designer: Sandor Weisz
Composer: Jeffrey Levin
Twitch Multilinear Script: Patrick Jagoda
Documentary Directors: Agustin Donoso and Ben Kolak
Twitch Video Production: Marc Downie and Ben Kolak
Lead Actors: Heidi Coleman (Taur), Ben Kolak (Final Labyrinth Guardian), Daisy Coleman, Sean Henry, Patrick Jagoda (Fates), Daisy Coleman and Marc Downie (Labyrinth Guardians), Daisy Coleman (Labyrinth Juggler), John Boyer (John Boyer)
Labyrinth Dwellers: Charles Ablemann, John Boyer, Agnes Callard, Heidi Coleman, Marc Downie, John "Jay" Ellison, James Evans, Heinrich Jaeger, Patrick Jagoda, Julie Marie Lemon, Deborah Nelson, Jason Riggle, Suzanne Riggle, Steven Rings, Lawrence Rothfield, Alicia Sparrow, Ashlyn Sparrow, James Sparrow, Kristen Schilt, Christopher Wild
Faculty Video Quests: Lauren Berlant, John Boyer, Agnes Callard, Jim Chandler, Meredith Daw, Melissa Gilliam, Jennifer Green, Deborah Nelson, Charlie Newell, Julie Orlemanski, Susanne Paulus, Larry Rothfield, Christopher Wild
Student Interns: Efraim Dahl, Sami Elahi, Ashby deButts, Jersey Fonseca, Peter Forberg, Kellie Lu, Briana Mendoza, Sam Schwartz, Alvin Shi, Camrick Solorio
Participating Courses: "Games-Based Improvisation in Alternate Reality Games" (Heidi Coleman) and "New Media at a Distance" (Marc Downie)

A Labyrinth was an alternate reality game developed at the University of Chicago during the COVID-19 pandemic. The game was created to spur creativity and build community online under the unprecedented and emergent conditions of the pandemic.

On April 6, 2020, A Labyrinth began with an opening puzzle that unlocked the game and attracted approximately 3,500 players. A week later, on April 13, the Fourcasters welcomed 73 core teams to compete by completing 140 quests. Alongside the competitive aspect, the game had a parallel collaborative dimension. Via the Twitch live streaming platform, players were invited to explore the alternative space-time known as Labyrinth. Once a week, via a live and collectively adjudicated interactive narrative format (essentially, a video-based "Choose Your Own Adventure" style narrative), players helped the Taur locate key hubs and hidden objects as they tried to make it back to the center of Labyrinth. They succeeded in this objective and saw the Labyrinth transform in an unprecedented way. On May 13, the game concluded with approximately 1,000 quests being submitted by participating teams.

A short documentary about the A Labyrinth game.

An extended overview of the game (with image slideshows and a video) composed by UChicago Arts.

A shorter overview (with a video) composed by UChicago News.

The original quest and leaderboard with over 140 original quests.

A showcase of player quest submissions from April and May 2020.