The Lost Manuscript

Mixed-reality teahouse setup

The Lost Manuscript is an episodic, narrative virtual reality game designed to be used in Mandarin language courses.  The game uses the real setting of the classroom as its starting point.  Early in the course, students are told that they have a surprise opportunity to take a study trip to China.  In the following weeks, students explore locations in Beijing using the VR system, encounter mysterious characters, and are drawn into the hunt for a priceless rare book.  In one episode, students arrive at the Beijing airport, expecting to be met by a tour guide.  However, their guide has disappeared, leaving only a crumpled sign in the corner.  The class must figure out how to convert currency, get a map, call their hotel, and get a taxi, using their basic vocabulary.  In later episodes, students search through the Forbidden City, visit a teahouse and learn a traditional Chinese tea ceremony, get arrested and questioned by the police, and discover hidden grottoes underneath the Summer Palace. Each of these episodes takes place in the Emergent Reality Lab.