Future Quest was created at Curtin University as part of the Curtin AHEAD program, a government funded initiative designed to raise aspirations toward higher education among groups of people who are traditionally underrepresented at university. The Curtin AHEAD team conducts a range of outreach activities with high schools and community groups, and we often involve technology and digital tools to engage and inspire our participants. In 2015 we partnered with game development agency 2and2 to create Campus Quest, an online game that provides a fun and interactive virtual university experience to our regional and remote participants.
One of our goals is to provide career advice so our participants can choose a career that aligns with their values and interests. In 2016 we built on the Campus Quest concept to create Future Quest, a game that focuses on helping people decide which career is right for them.
Future Quest was launched in February 2016 and is designed to provide participants with the ability to research their own skills, values and interests in order to follow a fulfilling career path. To play the game, the participant creates an avatar and navigates around a colourful and interactive map of a virtual community, speaking to characters about the jobs they do, assessing the benefit of career advice offered by various characters, and helping other characters network with each other. Participants gains points through each interaction, and they can unlock fun mini-games along the way.
As well as equipping participants with the ability to emulate the career research process in real life, the game compiles information about the participant’s skills, values and interests, and emails this to them at the end of the game along with advice about next steps which can help the participant begin a more comprehensive career search. Future Quest can be accessed via an internet browser or by downloading a smartphone or tablet app. The game is promoted to our school and community groups, and has been played by hundreds of participants so far. The overwhelming feedback is that they enjoy the sophisticated graphics and humorous scripts, and like the way they can explore their career options in a fun, gamified digital environment.
By using digital games in an educational context, we've been able to provide career advice to participants all over Western Australia, and we’re hoping to expand Future Quest to help even more people discover a career they find enjoyable and fulfilling.