Date of Award

Summer 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Sorin Matei

Committee Chair

Sorin Matei

Committee Member 1

Brian G. Smith

Committee Member 2

William B. Collins


Alternate Reality Games (ARGs) are an emerging brand of online role-playing games, immersive and highly interactive. This new genre of games pioneered an effective and efficient form of collective play and problem-solving in loosely-defined situations, showcasing powerful and efficient sensemaking and self-organization at work. I intend to study an ARG titled "We Are Earthborne" in order to understand the processes of communication, sensemaking, and selforganization that occurs in the course of an ARG. Using the structure of Weick's organizational sensemaking and Latour's Actor-Network Theory as a lens, this study intends to break down how distributed groups of people can come together to create meaning, self-organise and use technology to problem-solve. Understanding these processes have positive implications for organizations to create optimal environments for effective problem-solving.