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David Lee King

ALA Midwinter 2007: Digital Gaming in Library Instruction



I attended the ACRL Instruction Section Current Issue Digest and Discussion Forum on digital gaming in library instruction. It was pretty interesting – here are my notes, mainly on comments and questions I found interesting, in fairly random order (with two wicked cool ideas that came up, too):

  • You could use Second Life as a platform to create a game
  • Sight and hearing disabled students – can you meet ADA requirements with games?
  • someone mentioned partnering with computer science departments to develop games
  • Wicked Cool Idea #1: Someone is incorporating gaming language into classes – what a cool idea! They use “power ups” – they frame the the instruction session into a storyline, and use powerups (ie., boolean and, or, and not searches) when the powerups are needed.
  • Someone mentioned the simulation games the military uses (in defense of if games work or not for instruction)
  • Cold Stone Creamery uses a game during their initial employee training
  • Someone mentioned the game Neverwinter Nights – it has an add-on that allows you to build customized modules. You could build a “find stuff in the library” type of game. You can even design the conversations in this game.
  • Wicked Cool Idea #2: Someone uses Guess the Google in their instruction classes (it’s a guess what keyword is used to find what’s displayed on the screen). She has students yell out responses, it gets students into it, and it leads to discussion on keyword and phrase searching – in a much more fun way!
  • Money and time were mentioned alot.
  • Jenny Levine’s LTR on gaming was mentioned.
  • One funny thing (to me) was discussed a little, too. I heard “is it in the literature?” and “is there empirical research of the educational impact… ” of educational gaming. Someone else mentioned they didn’t want to do it if it falls flat (I assume, in the literature again). I wasn’t feeling terribly brave that day, so I didn’t speak up … but I thought about saying this: “if you wait for “Empirical Research” and for games to appear in “The Literature,” you will be followers. The cool stuff isn’t created by following, but by innovating.

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  • http://wanderingeyre.com/ Michelle (Jane)

    Your “one funny thing” happens all the time in academia. I think it contributes to our culture of indecision. Many libraries are crippled as they wait for “empirical research.” I always wonder if they realize that people doing the research had to have the guts to try it first.

    *sigh* It is so frustrating.

  • http://wanderingeyre.com Michelle (Jane)

    Your “one funny thing” happens all the time in academia. I think it contributes to our culture of indecision. Many libraries are crippled as they wait for “empirical research.” I always wonder if they realize that people doing the research had to have the guts to try it first.

    *sigh* It is so frustrating.