Past Event

Elective Studies Supper Club Vol. 11: Patrick Jagoda

In partnership with Land & Sea Dept., Illinois Humanities presents the next volume of the Elective Studies Supper Club for Illinois artists, featuring a lecture by alternate reality media expert Dr. Patrick Jagoda, a meal by chef Gabe Freeman, and an opening drink by Land & Sea Dept. Beverage Director Paul McGee.

This event is part of our Elective Studies series, created to help artists find inspiration from the world around them. Through a combination of lectures by top-tier experts and meals crafted by the city’s finest chefs, these convenings are designed to unite, inspire, nourish, and connect.

With generous support from the Joyce Foundation, and sponsorship by Letherbee Distillers, Lagunitas Brewing Co., and Perrier.


Alternate Reality Games: Experiments in Serious Play
Dr. Patrick Jagoda
University of Chicago

Patrick JagodaAlternate Reality Games (ARGs) are a genre of experimental games that originated in the early twenty-first century. These games, including Microsoft’s The Beast and 42 Entertainment’s I Love Bees, use the real world as a platform, and blur the line between game and reality. Additionally, these games tell transmedia narratives that are conveyed through everyday media types, including text, video, audio, print, phone calls, websites, email, social networks, live performance, and locative technologies. In ARGs, players interact directly with characters, solve plot-based puzzles to advance the narrative, and build a collaborative community to coordinate real-life and online activities. This presentation discusses a series of experimental ARGs that I’ve designed and evaluated.

Patrick Jagoda is associate professor of English and Cinema and Media Studies at the University of Chicago. He is also a co-editor of Critical Inquiry and co-founder of the Game Changer Chicago Design Lab and the Transmedia Story Lab. Two of his books have been published in 2016: Network Aesthetics (University of Chicago Press) and The Game Worlds of Jason Rohrer (co-authored with Michael Maizels, MIT Press). Jagoda has also worked on several projects related to digital storytelling, transmedia game design, and new media learning. For more information, visit


Gabriel Freeman grew up in Shadyside, Maryland – a small Chesapeake Bay town where the marsh meets the wood. There, he learned to forage wild edibles, identify mushrooms, and catch crabs with a string and a chicken neck. He spent some time cooking in a local French restaurant, which eventually led to traveling and cooking across the United States. In Chicago, he’s spent time in the kitchens of The Publican and Cherry Circle Room, and is currently Sous Chef at sister restaurants Ruxbin and Mott St. To him, food is the greatest medicine: a way to share joy and nourishment and to foster community.


If you are interested in being added to the list of artists invited to these gatherings, please email
If you require a sign interpreter or any other arrangements to fully participate in this program, please contact at least 72 hours in advance of the event.