VCARA SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston

Published: Wednesday, June 7, 2017 by Alyse Dunavant-Jones

On May 8, 2017, VCARA launched and hosted a tour of its first SCREAM (Students Creating REal Archival Memories) Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston.

Over the spring, iSchool students and VCARA members Alyse Dunavant-Jones, Julie Grundvig, and Melissa Ward gamified VCARA Village on iSchool Island in Second Life into a spooky quest to collect freebies, solve clues, and learn the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries, a seven part statement applicable to both archives and special library students.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - The Quest begins

The quest was inspired by virtual world quests like Brant Knutzen's Medieval Quest. Special thanks go to alumni Chris Nelson and Lori Harris for assisting with clues, props, and planning; alumna Kerri Keil for photographing the Quest Tour; and to alumna Marie Vans and student Amanda Comeau for naming the Quest. Appreciation also goes to the rest of the VCARA team for support and testing!

**Spoiler Alert** The following blog post outlines and presents images from VCARA's SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston. To participate in the Quest in Second Life, log into your viewer and begin at  http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SJSU%20SLIS/14/229/32

For help joining Second Life, refer to our VCARA for Newbies post.

 
The Quest Premise:
Adventurers begin in front of the VCARA Village graveyard. Text hovers above a scroll resting atop a large rock: “SCREAM Quest – Touch scroll for your first clue.” Upon touching the scroll, adventurers receive colonial clothing and their first clue.
 
Clue # 1
You have been hired to investigate strange happenings at a small historical research library in VCARA Village. Someone (or something!!) is destroying vital library documents, including the library's access policy. Some say it's the ghost of Arnie C. McWinterborn, a disgruntled researcher who never lived to see his opus For the Love of Pumpkins: The True History of the Headless Horseman published in its complete form.
You fire up your computer and navigate to the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement on Access to Research Materials in Archives and Special Collections Libraries. Your screen flickers, grows dark, and reappears: "Page Not Found (404)". A second line of text appears, and you squint to read the grainy letters. "Back in time are the pages you seek. On cobbled streets and wood that creaks beneath the nation's feet."
The lights dim, and your desk begins to shake. Sparks zap from your screen as you feel yourself pulled toward the 404 page. The world goes black and you find yourself thrust through time where you must piece together the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and put the ghost of Mr. McWinterborn to rest.
 
Now dress yourself -- don't be shy! You must fit in to be a spy.
And if you dare, come inside.
The ghosts will show where the clue resides.
Walk two rows, turn to the right.
An explosion, a charge! Quite a fright!
You'll see it best with your Sun Position set to midnight.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - Graveyard

Adventurers may decide to change into their colonial clothing at this point. They may also set their SL viewer’s Sun Position setting to midnight. Upon finding the second scroll, adventurers receive the first part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their second clue.

Clue # 2
A beacon of hope in the night;
Ships safely follow the path of light.
You’ll find the clue where the keeper sleeps.
Careful, though - the way is steep!

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - Lighthouse

Upon finding the third scroll, adventurers receive the second part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their third clue.

Clue # 3
Perhaps, now, it’s time for a drink,
A place to rest and to think.
Head up to the lantern room for the fine view –
Find the place with the best bread and brew.
To the right over the courthouse will lead you there,
It’s only the darkness you must beware.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - Pub

Upon finding the fourth scroll, adventurers receive the third part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their fourth clue.

Clue # 4
Left, right, left to Passion Park
A lovely place for a midnight lark.
Together the ghosts and the fireflies dance,
A perfect place for true romance.
You’ll find your deepest heart’s desire,
While warming yourself over the glowing fire.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - Passion Park

Upon finding the fifth scroll, adventurers receive the fourth part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their fifth clue.

Clue # 5
100 Main Street is the furniture store,
The place to buy beds, bathtubs and more.
It’s all for the taking, so feel free to shop.
And when you are through, make your way to the top.
Through a small door, just follow the stairs,
The needle is sharp so please take care!

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - Furniture Store

This clue is especially difficult for larger avatars! The house is quite cozy, and some adventurers may need to shrink down or use their view settings to find the scroll. Bonus: almost everything in the house is free with a click! Upon finding the sixth scroll, adventurers receive the fifth part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their sixth clue.

Clue # 6
The ship sets sail at dawn today;
You must hurry quickly, don’t delay.
Fly like a crow to your nest
Bravery and a keen eye will serve you best.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA Village - Pirate Ship

Upon finding the seventh scroll, adventurers receive the sixth part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their seventh clue.

Clue # 7
Back to the bones. Twice deep, once left.
One last clue to recover McWinterborn's theft.
You'll find no scroll, just a watery grave.
Right click for passage to a secret cave.
Teleport below to make friends with the fish.
Then don't walk--fly straight up else you'll miss!
Follow the bridge through the falls and into the black--
The last scroll isn't far. Persist. Don't turn back.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA - Underwater near the catacombs

This is the creepiest part of the quest; adventurers find themselves in an underwater cavern and must navigate carefully! Upon finding the eighth scroll, adventurers receive the final part of the ACRL/SAA Joint Statement and their final clue.

Clue # 8
You have saved your job and put Arnie to rest.
The Statement is whole. Now you must leave the Quest!
To make your escape, reverse your tracks
to the end of the bridge; you'll find your way back.
And remember as you emerge from this puzzling dream,
iSchool's VCARA is always good for a SCREAM.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA - Underground tunnel leading to catacombs

After finding their way back to daylight, adventurers find themselves in VCARA’s Resource Center greeted by a rock identical to the one that started them on the quest. This rock’s hover text reads: “End of SCREAM Quest – Congratulations!” Upon touching the rock, adventurers receive information about the Resource Center, a link back to VCARA Village, and credits for the Quest.

SCREAM Quest: Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston 5-8-2017 Tour - VCARA - Underground bridge near Resource Center

We hope you have enjoyed this taste of VCARA's Spring 2017 creation. To explore the Archival Nightmare in Colonial Boston quest for yourself, log into Second Life and come to iSchool Island for a visit (http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/SJSU%20SLIS/14/229/32)!


For information about joining VCARA in Second Life, please refer to our VCARA for Newbies blog post. To request an orientation to Second Life and/or VCARA, please email Alyse Dunavant-Jones (alyse.dunavant-jones@sjsu.edu). To follow VCARA on social media, check out our VCARA on Social Media page.

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