Monday, December 8, 2008

Library Game

I came across an e-mail on one of my listservs that pointed to Ohio State's online library game called Head Hunt, that is meant to be an introduction to incoming freshmen and their families. The game part is Brutus (the OSU mascot) is missing his head. For each part of the tutorial you complete (mostly trivia, some matching, one puzzle), you get a letter that helps you figure out where Brutus's head is.

I really like using the school's mascot as the central part of the game. That symbolically brings in the bigger picture of the campus and draws in a wider audience (what athlete or sports fan doesn't care about fixing the mascot?). While at first I was annoyed by the different uses of multimedia (it first struck me as disjointed), I later came to appreciate the variety in the activities.

My biggest complaint is that I can't figure out where the head is because I'm awful at word scrambles. That has nothing to do with library skills, and it's disappointing to someone who completed all but the last step. I really want to know where the head is.

But the more serious criticism I have for this particular game is that it doesn't encourage discovery. There are no links to outside resources to help the user figure out the answer. The crossword puzzle offers "hints" that outright give the answer. This is something I'm really working on in my own tutorial.

Overall, I thought this was a good game, I just wish I could have finished it.

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