This paper presents a case study drawn from design-based research (DBR) on a mobile, place-based augmented reality history game. Using DBR methods, the game was developed by the author as a history learning intervention for fifth to seventh graders. The game is built upon historical narratives of disenfranchised populations that are seldom taught, those typically relegated to the 'null curriculum'. These narratives include the stories of women immigrant labour leaders in the early twentieth century, more than a decade before suffrage. The project understands the purpose of history education as the preparation of informed citizens. In paying particular attention to historical themes that endure overtime, the game aims to draw connections between historical and contemporary narratives of diverse and disenfranchised populations. The study discusses new design knowledge for addressing such narratives. Self-reflexivity, the technique of revealing the means of production of the game technology itself can be used to spotlight contemporary issues of disenfranchisement. Supra-reveals, historical thematic foreshadowing, can help establish key links between themes of disenfranchisement of diverse groups in the past and those in the present. These techniques used together, and the subsequent curriculum, brought focus to teaching issues of diversity and disenfranchisement typically written out of curriculum.

Publication Date



This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in International Journal of Heritage on May 16, 2017, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/13527258.2017.1325768

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Interactive Games and Media (GCCIS)


RIT – Main Campus