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Mozilla creates BrowserQuest to showcase HTML5 capabilities

March 28, 2012 Teaching and Learning No Comments

Mozilla and web design studio Little Workshop to develop a Web-based multiplayer adventure game called BrowserQuest. The game is built to take full advantage of a HTML5 technology called WebSockets, which are a new technology enabling bi-directional communication between a browser and a server on the web.

This new technology may foster the legitimacy and availability of game based learning in higher education. Proponents of game-based learning in higher education point to its role in supporting collaboration, problem-solving, and communication, the 21st century competencies needed by American students outlined by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in late 2010 in the National Education Technology Plan. Advocates also underscore the productive role of play, which allows for experimentation, the exploration of identities, and even failure. Gaming also contributes to the development of a particular disposition well-suited to an information-based culture and rapid change.

With the technical capabilities offered by the latest standards, Web developers no longer have to rely on plugins to create interactive multimedia experiences and application-like user interfaces.  BrowserQuest is a demo of how this technology can be used today to create a real-time multiplayer game in a single webpage.

Since BrowserQuest is written in HTML5/JavaScript, it is available across a lot of different browsers and platforms. The game can be played in Firefox, Chrome and Safari. With WebSockets enabled, it’s also playable in Opera. Moreover, it’s compatible with iOS devices, as well as tablets and phones running Firefox for Android.

The mobile versions are more experimental than the desktop experience, which has richer features and performance, but it’s an early glimpse of what kind of games will be coming to the mobile Web in the future.

Check out the game’s video trailer here:

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The CTLT liaisons are the bridge between teaching and technology. The liaison group collaborates primarily with University of Richmond faculty to effectively incorporate technology into the teaching and learning processes. We deal with diverse technologies, and are happy to work with any skill level.

Jon Messer Corrina Waxman