Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Ajax Hacks

Just got a copy of the book Ajax Hacks for review and it is awesome. I hope to definitely upgrade the coding in the game I'm working on and perhaps add some other cool functionality.

Like all the Hacks series of books, this one has loads of codes and spiffy projects to try. The only problem is finding enough time to try them all.

Game Maker

Some nifty (free!) software that I have been looking at is called Game Maker and (big surprise) you make games with it. It is fairly easy to use, at least at the admittedly easy tasks I'm attempting (I'm sure the learning curve will steepen quickly if I try to more than implement pong) and there seems to be a large user community that can help with support.

This may be another possible method of making an info lit game. Further reports after I have a chance to fiddle around with it some more.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Current Projects

I am currently working on an online board game in the style of Trivial Pursuit. I am hoping it will prove a useful addition to our current instructional program. The idea is that 2 to 4 players can play, answering questions about various aspects of information literacy. It is written using Ajax, meaning Javascript and XML.

After that, I would like to develop a sort of scavenger hunt game in some sort of virtual space like Active Worlds. The idea here would be to have students exercise various information literacy skills in order to solve problems in-game.

Newest Information Today

The June 2006 Information Today is out and there is an article entitled 'Gaming: The Next Hot Technology for Libraries?' by Donald T. Hawkins and Barbara Brynko, which is a good read. It is also where I learned about the Virtual Bibliographic Instruction world that Mark Puterbaugh has created.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Eastern PA's VBI

A cryptic title, yes. But I have been exploring the VBI (Virtual Bibliographic Instruction) world created by Mark Puterbaugh at Eastern University in Pennsylvania. Does that make it clearer?

This is amazing. The VBI uses the software and services of Active Worlds, to create a virtual reality world in which students can access databases, the catalog, virtual reference, and also take a virtual tour of the library.

You can be a virtual tourist in Active Worlds and take a spin around VBI yourself. You just need to download the Active Worlds browser.

You can also see a picture of VBI here and also read a little bit more about the project here.

I can't wait to start building a virtual library for Jackson Library.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Game Culture & Technology Lab

Found this great website, the Game Culture & Technology Lab, hosted by the School of the Arts at the University of California-Irvine. The site has a wiki, blog, lists of useful resources, and games. Registering gets you access to a great deal of content, with an interesting twist. You are ranked according to how much effort you put into helping to develop the site.

Points are assigned for various activites that you can do on the site, including suggesting websites to be added, contributing to the wiki, tagging, commenting, and playing games! You can even get negative points if you do badly at the games.

I've signed up and am at Slacker status. This is such a great site, I hope to improve my ranking.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Social Impact Games

Another nifty website I just found is called Social Impact Games. They have an index to over 200 'serious' games, divided up by category. The Education and Learning section has 37 games teaching a variety of topics, including Computer Science, Management, Physics, Chemistry, and others. There is also an extensive bibliography. I imagine I'll be spending a lot of time at this site.

Serious Games Source

The Serious Games Summit people have launched a website dedicated to building up the serious games community, called Serious Games Source. It includes message boards, a job board, and lots of extras. Unfortunately, much of the good content will require a paid membership.

Also, don't forget the Serious Games Summit is October 30-31 in Washington, D.C.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Future Play 2006

Found a new conference, called Future Play 2006. It will be held October 10-12 in Ontario, Canada. They are accepting paper submissions through July 28, poster submissions through August 18, and GAME submissions through September 8.

Maybe, just maybe, I could have a game put together to submit by then!