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.