Wednesday, May 30, 2007

I recently had a chance to meet with and listen to University of Calgary librarians, Chris Thomas and Jerremie Clyde, who presented their ongoing work and research into game-based learning at the University of Waterloo. For their game "Hard Play" they have selected the game engine from HalfLife 2 to keep it engaging and immersive. Chris and Thomas emphasized the importance of first looking at game-play when building a game. The next important aspect should be the narrative. Once these elements have been established, learning goals can be looked at. It has to be fun first if it is to work at all. The modding community surrounding HalfLife is quite substantial and this has been a big help for Chris & Jerremie. They have developed various rooms thus far that look eerily similar to their library in a not-so-distant dystopic future. When staff were shown the game screenshots they immediatley recognized various spaces in the library. Chris & Jerremie are tapping into the web 2.0 principle by sharing all that they learn as they continue to build "Hard Play". I'm looking forward to watching it progress. Follow along with them here:

Monday, May 14, 2007

Website for Hardplay

FYI for those interested - Jerremie and I have created a website for HardPlay, which is our research into modifying a first person point of view, action adventure commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) game to evaluate the effectiveness of digital game based learning for transforming undergraduate students into information literate researchers. You can find it at

Monday, May 07, 2007

Quarantined: Axl Wise and the Information Outbreak

Tammy Allgood , Digital Delivery and Design Librarian at ASU at the West campus
Bee Gallegos, Librarian, Lower Division Coordinator at ASU at the West campus
Karen Grondin, Library Specialist at ASU at the West campus

Last week at the LOEX conference in San Diego, the librarians from Arizona State University presented on their game Quarantined. This spring was their first semester using the game in a classroom and they have feedback from student use during classes.

Unfortunately, they described the feedback as "kind of depressing" and found that the students are "not learning what they thought they would." Although the feedback from the students was not as positive as they hoped, I believe they close to having a game that meets some of their objectives.

Try the game out for yourself - Quarantined (username: loex; password: 2007). The trial will be up for about 3 weeks.