Wednesday, December 06, 2006

playbe's playce

Over at Aaron Schmidt's walking paper blog, he links to this site. Aaron challenges librarians to use it in a Young Adult site, but I think there is use here for academic libraries as well. The games provide a fun way of selecting different content pieces and allow for a variety of learning/personality types. It seems like it could fit with subject specific webpages or departmental library pages. If we are creating resource pages, let's do it in a way that students would want to explore.

Here's my idea:
If the content items can be clicked on, why not populate that with subjects or resource links. The content item boxes in the Breakout like "Achiever" game could explode when hit to create additional subcategories. The same is true for the planes in the "Killer" game or the stars in the "Explorer" game. Why couldn't this be a visual way to navigate subject headings or LC classifications? Clicking/breaking/shooting one broader content item could open up more smaller, focused items. Couldn't this help students narrow their searches or topics in a creative manner?

The concept isn't any different than what many of us do now, it's just a more enjoyable way through the research process. As an information literacy librarian, the idea of game based navigation makes sense. To me, researching is a game and a quest and something like this takes advantage of that basic idea. Creating an easy and intuitive interface is not a new idea, so why not make it fun along the way.

What do you think? What other applications are there?

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