Foursquare and Libraries – Definitely Something There!

This is a follow-up post to my original post, Foursquare and Libraries – Anything There?

Lots of you left some great ideas in the comments, so I thought I’d do a little copy/paste and highlight some of them … because they’re really very cool ideas!

So – here are what some of YOU are doing with Foursquare:

  • Colleen Greene: Pollak Library (at Cal State Fullerton) is using it in beta mode, adding in a bunch of To Do items and Tips for students (i.e., get a Titan Card, set up their borrowing privileges, check their circulation record, use one of our AV or Group study rooms, visit the latest exhibit, etc.). our Social Media Team is exploring the idea of prizes. I am also teaching our campus social media working group how to use it and incorporate it into a campus culture.
  • Jason Clark: Saw this in a tweet from NYPL which talks about the kernel of an idea – summer reading meets foursquare . A friendly reading competition in the mobile space? Job description provides some more detail. While this isn’t true foursquare integration, it points to how foursquare could lead to/inspire new library apps and services.
  • Brad Czerniak: Canton Public Library offers a weekly prize to their Mayor. Just a concept. This week it’s a #totebag http://twitpic.com/ynn7x
  • libmario: Harvard and UNC recently teamed up with Foursquare to encourage social engagement with the campus community ,including faculty. Innovative way to encourage learning and connections that could be extended to libraries. – http://mashable.com/2010/01/12/harvard-foursquare/

And one interesting sidenote. Sometimes, people can be a bit negative about our libraries while adding tips to Foursquare. For example, Stephen Francoeur said “Saddened to see that one tag already added to my library: shitty wifi. Hope to find a way to turn that perception around.”

We’ve had one of those, too. Jason D. added this To Do list item to my library’s entry: “Late fees are being enforced, so to help you remember to take your books in, sign up for email reminders via tscpl.org.” Not sure that’s really a negative comment, but it makes us sound a bit like “enforcers of the evil late fee” or something…

Anyway, yet another use for Foursquare – see what customers say about you in the Tips and To Do lists sections (then see if you can improve or fix those things).

Feel free to friend me in Foursquare!

Game-Making Development Kit is Free

Ever wanted to make a game, but didn’t know where to start? Here’s one way -download the Unreal Developer Kit from NVIDIA. More from their site:

NVIDIA now offers the Unreal® Development Kit, a free version of the award-winning Unreal® Engine 3, the software development framework used to create computer and video games, 3D simulations, TV shows, films and more.

Anyone can download UDK and work with the same game development tools used to create blockbuster games, architectural walkthroughs and digital movies. UDK ships with the latest version of the Unreal® Editor, with its unrivaled content creation toolset and rapid prototyping functionality. It can be found on NVIDIA’s Developer Zone site at http://developer.nvidia.com/object/udk.html or at the UDK home site, www.udk.com.

Read more about it here.

SXSWi2009: From Framing Shots to Pushing Pixels – Crossing Between Film and Video Games

Last session – let’s see if I can make it! And a funny aside – I was talking to two people before this session about sound boards of all things – one attendee and one SXSW volunteer. Turns out the volunteer is a librrarian who took a year off to write a novel (good for her), and the attendee – not sure who she is – actually attended another presentation and asked me what FRBR was, of all things! Wow.

Panelists:

Rich Vogel
Rodney Gibbs
Mark Bristol

Gibbs:

If you flake, you’re out. Don’t leave the project before it’s done. Also share turntables – mix things up that don’t actually go together.

Try awkward things.

Learn how to deal with difficult people. (he worked with Michael Medved)

Henry Winkler says “say thank you” (panelist worked with him).

Ed Spielman says “Start with the poster…” Make believe the movie’s done. He’d get people to give him money … then they’d go write the script.

Megatron says “Geeks have a long, long memory.”

He transitioned into video games in the 90s.

Tim Curry says “say dirty words in funny voices.” Hmm …

What stuck with him in his transition was storytelling. Games are stories. In a gaming pitch he attended … the designers were focusing on the story.

Mark:

To film makers – you should be able to transfer your writing ability to the gaming industry.

With film, you have a budget, can maybe just do 3 takes. With games, you can do whatever you want to do.

Talked about his transfer from film to gaming…

Rich:

Ouch – he always loved film, made a documentary about a teacher affair with a student, got in trouble for that!

Loved PCs in college… After college, realized he didn’t want to program … so went to grad film school (I think).

Landed a game design job – they put in long 60-70 hour work weeks…

Film helped him develop game pacing, how to make them more immersive.

He was a senior producer for Ultima – a virtual world game from the late 1990s.

With “suits” – in presentations, they mainly notice what you’re showing them – not what you’re actually telling them. So his background with storyboarding and quickly getting to the point helped – if you have this skill, you will get the gig.

They went through 1000 writers before they picked the 12-14 they kept. Wow. The writers take a writer’s test.

Gaming and Libraries: Intersections of Service – TSCPL #staffday

Jenny Levine, ALA

1850s – libraries in Britain – pool halls in libraries, 1880s early chess club in a library

2005 or so – entering Eighth Age of librarianship – a participatory age.

Redefining what we mean by reading (Second Life avatar reading a book, avatars listening to someone else read a book in SL)

Gaming has been in the library (1850s) longer than KIDS have been in the library!

“stare at the screen all day” – it’s not passive – it’s active, and two-way

“he just sits there all day long…” – balance is the issue – shouldn’t read all day, play sports all day, game all day – gaming is not the problem – balance is

What would happen if video games would have been invented before books? – books are tragically isolating… no interaction, etc (Steven Johnson quote)

“aren’t social” – video games are actually very social.

“they already play videogames at home” (Eli Neiberger) – well, why do we do storytime at the library, if you can read at home? The library adds value to it… same thing with the library and gaming. We’re one of the last non-commercial facilities out there!

“Gaming is too loud…” Our libraries are loud, too!

“Libraries are about books” – and crocheting, and music, and etc etc etc – not just books anymore

“violent video games” – 85% of games are rated for everybody

Numbers – define gaming: any type of game. Summer reading is the biggest game in the library!

Who’s a gamer? Everyone pretty much – average age of gamer – 35 – middle-aged women are the largest demographic of gamers

talking about teaching a college-level statistics course for athletes – using Madden Fantasy Football

Gaming is a social experience for teens – gamers tend to be more civically engaged than non-gamers.

Games as readers advisory (from Beth Galloway): if you like to play Halo, here’s what you might enjoy reading…

Some libraries are offering Senior Spaces that have gaming as an introduction to technology. They use the Wii or the XBox, teens show the seniors how, then the seniors move to computer tech from there.

The Edge – Our New Teen Center

Check out my library’s new Teen Center! A little more about it: “The Edge, our new Teen Center, has opened! What can you do at The Edge? Well… lots: meet with friends, play games, read, study, do stuff on the web, watch movies, and listen to music. We also hope to have live performances by garage bands, Guitar Hero competitions and crazy karaoke.”

Read more about it here. Kudos to my library for building something that’s pretty cool.