Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Design Play Learn

The theme for the 39th Workshop on Instruction in Library Use (WILU) is very enticing this year: Design Play Learn. Registration opens In March and it's being hosted by McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. The Opening Plenary includes Dr. James Paul Gee and Mary Lou Fulton. I am guessing that most of the conference presentations will be of interest to readers of this blog. Hope to see you there! http://wilu2010.blog.lib.mcmaster.ca/

Friday, October 30, 2009

DIG London 2009

DIG London 2009 marks the second annual "digital interactive gaming" conference held in the Forest City (London, Ontario). The conference runs for 2 days beginning Tuesday November 3rd. From the conference about page:

DIG London is the information hub for the digital interactive gaming industry in Ontario. We attract Canada’s leading video game developers, publishers, technology companies, service providers, and emerging talent.

Our GameZone, sponsored by Head-2-Head Games showcases Canadian-made games along with international best-sellers.

Network, learn about emerging trends, explore industry issues, and connect with new opportunities and emerging talent at DIG 2009.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

State of Academic Library Gaming

Here are my thoughts in response to Paul Waelchli's recent discussion questions.

1) What is the current state of games and learning in academic libraries?


2) What are some of the factors to that current state?
Having worked at 2 Canadian academic libraries within the the last year, my perspective reflects the environments there. I agree strongly with Nicholas's comments about gaming being still very much on the peripheral of academic libraries. My guess is that gaming enters the radar of academic libraries via librarians who are interested in devoting research time to the concept. McMaster University Libraries is, of course an exception to this rule, where they have a somewhat dedicated position for gaming (aka Immersive Learning Librarian, Shawn McCann). Does anyone know of any other similar positions?

3) Based on your experience and research, what are the next steps?
In my new position, I've had the opportunity to explore new ideas of learning and information literacy. In the meantime, gaming had not been part of my job, and of course, there is always a learning curve when starting a new position (new content and new institution). Paul's discussion has prompted me to look at gaming and game-based learning again in this new environment. My next steps will be to follow this discussion and think about strategies for exploring gaming at a new academic library. I know there are probably other Faculty members interested in this area, and I think seeking out those individuals is also a good step.

4) What are the factors supporting or preventing those "next steps?"
As I mentioned above, game-based learning falls under my research time - which is supposed to be 10% of my work time. Finding balance will be key, in order to actually move ahead.

5) What do the financial and economic situations at many institutions mean for instructional gaming in libraries?
I prefer to ignore economic conditions. Funding is usually the first question asked - so if it can be funded, great! If not, it's time for a new approach.

6) What other issues/questions should we be considering?
Incorporating gaming projects within faculties and partnering with campus departments seems like it might be an important strategy. It's important to imbed information literacy into the curriculum - so a game-based information literacy approach should also be embedded.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Discussion On: State of Gaming & Learning in Academic Libraries

Paul Waelchli (of Research Quest blog and a contributor to this blog) has recently posed some questions to those of us in academic libraries researching and/or interested in gaming. He has noticed a decline (for lack of a better word) in new gaming projects over the last year and he is interested in exploring the reasons for this.

His questions are:
1) What is the current state of games and learning in academic libraries?
2) What are some of the factors to that current state?
3) Based on your experience and research, what are the next steps?
4) What are the factors supporting or preventing those "next steps?"
5) What do the finical and economic situations at many institutions mean for instructional gaming in libraries?
6) What other issues/questions should we be considering?

These are good questions for all of us to think about and resond to. Before I offer up my thoughts, I thought I would post here and allow any reader's of this blog to add their own comments.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Gaming in Libraries Course (free)

Scott Nicholson, associate professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, will be teaching a course on Gaming in Libraries in June 2009. He is using YouTube as his teaching platform and has invited all interested individuals to participate in the course. You can learn more about the course and follow along at his blog here: http://www.gamesinlibraries.org/course/

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Defense of Hidgeon

The School of Information at the University of Michigan has released their report on the Storygame project, Engaging Undergraduates in Research Through a Storytelling and Gaming Strategy: Final Report to the Delmas Foundation. I've only skimmed the report but found their premises for further information literacy games useful...
  1. Game play must contribute in a useful way to the coursework students are already doing.
  2. Game play that gives players mastery over one key concept, task, or procedure is preferable to comprehensive game play.
  3. Game play must count toward students’ grades in the course.
  4. Game play must give students opportunities to see other researchers at work so they can connect what they do to what others do.
  5. Students want positive and negative feedback from games to improve their performance.
  6. Although students want to be in control during game play, they will collaborate with their peers when the collaboration furthers what they want to accomplish.
  7. Students must have concrete evidence that leaving their computer to do research will have a payoff in terms of improving their research or affecting their grades.
  8. Game play must foster opportunities for students to reflect on their own research habits and what they are learning.

Monday, June 02, 2008

More on Quarantined

One thing that is very obvious when you play Fletcher Library's "Quarantined" is that the developers put a lot of thought into the content and design. I think that this game is a success. It's a success because it's fun. It's not perfect, but there are a lot of great components to the game. One of the key ingredients for this game is the story. The story is intriguing and I think that it's compelling enough to motivate players to continue if at first they don't succeed. I'm including some screenshots to the game and also some contact information if you'd like to give the game a try. ASU is considering making the source code available for a "nominal fee". You can read more about the game and how to login here.