Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Games in Libraries

I'm finally back from a wonderful four-day weekend with a friend from grad school who visited from Bloomington, IN, and my parents, who were up here from Georgia to visit and work on the house. It feels a bit strange to be back, and I just spent 2.5 hours catching up on the e-mail that accumulated during that time. Now there are no more breaks for the rest of the month :(

A former student sent me this link which discusses library video games being developed by Carnegie Mellon. That first link seems to be the blog of a serious gamer, who thinks libraries are stupid, and they shouldn't attempt video games. The comments are very interesting.

I have been very interested in educational video games in the academic library setting. I'm working my way through John Paul Gee's book called What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy. It's facinating and every librarian should read it as it directly relates to going beyond "active learning" and striving for "critical learning."

I developed my own library game over the summer. I don't intend for people to think it's something students will want to play on Friday night, but I am hoping it's more fun than a regular BI lecture, and offer it to professors who end up not having time to bring in their students for BI (this happened with several classes last semester because of snow). I'm scrambling to adapt it a little for classes that are in the library, so they have to go find a book in the stacks, which will contain a code to continue with the "game." I really want to be reading more and finding other library games to work with.

I am not a gamer by any stretch of the imagination. I really admire many creative and asthetic aspects of video games and comic books, but they don't hold my attention. I'm too old-fashioned, I guess. I think I need to find some gamer students who would be willing to work with me, though I don't have much to offer in compensation. I'm really regretting my gaming friends Jen & Lynnette have moved away...


Katertot said...

Is it nepotism to leave a comment about yourself? I love getting mentioned in the blog.

I second the look at the book to your other faithful readers - I got to glance through it and I wish I had more time to really read it.

Hey Mary, I wonder what would happen if you tried to play any of the games mentioned in the book? It might be interesting to see if what you notice and what Gee notices are the same.

Mary said...

I want to. I've played the free games online, but not the ones he's talking about. Maybe over Christmas?