Its core concepts were incubated in an earlier conference scavenger hunt game called CONFARGANON, produced at a 4Cs workshop called “Play/Write” in 2009. In 2010, the “Play/Write 2.0” workshop – led by Doug Eyman, Alice Daer, Jamie Bono, Annette Vee, Zach Waggoner, and CONFARGANON’s first winner, Suzanne Blum-Malley – prompted discussions about how games could use ludic conventions to invade and remake the comparatively stiff and formal setting of a massive academic conference.
These conversations carried over to the 2010 Computers & Writing conference and were galvanized by a presentation entitled “Press ‘Start’: Critical Reflections on the Development and Deployment of a Large-Scale Alternate Reality Game (ARG)” by Amy C. Kimme Hea, Josh Zimmerman and Sara Howe. Inspired by the idea of using ARG concepts to foster engagement in a literature class, we started asking how we could use similar concepts to promote productive and playful collisions among rhetoric, composition, and game studies.
Cofounders Wendi Sierra, Scott Reed, Jill Morris, Mary Karcher, Sheryl Ruszkiewicz, Doug Eyman, and Kelli Centrelli developed “C’s the Day” with the following goals in mind:
- To demonstrate how gameplay can produce engagement and learning
- To augment the conference experience, particularly for newcomers who might find the conference environment particularly daunting
- To encourage meaningful professional development among players by presenting such opportunities in a playful context
- To promote concepts of “gift economy” by making the game free of charge and by building quests that promote positivity, creativity, and generosity
Currently in its 5th iteration, C’s The Day is now an offical Task Force, charged by the CCCC Executive Council to continue developing and implementing the game as a resource for the community.