Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Want to write a chapter in our book?

Working Title: Casebook on Gaming in Academic Libraries
An ACRL Monograph
Amy Harris, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, a_harri2@uncg.edu
Scott Rice, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, serice2@uncg.edu

Deadline for proposals: August 31, 2007
Expected publication: Summer 2008

Gaming in all its forms is making its way into academia. “Casebook on Gaming in Academic Libraries” will provide case studies and reports of best practices and experiences in the many ways in which academic libraries have chosen to become part of this trend.

“Casebook on Gaming in Academic Libraries” will include three sections to encompass the variety of ways gaming has been incorporated into academic libraries.
Section 1: “Gaming as Marketing”
­ How is gaming used to bring students into the library and make students aware of other library services?
Section 2: “Gaming and Collections”
­ How have academic libraries started augmenting their collections with hardware and software?
Section 3: “Gaming and Teaching”
­ How is gaming used for teaching information literacy skills in academic libraries? How does gaming fit into the academic classroom?

Possible topics may include but are not limited to the following:
Information literacy games
Game night hosting
Student orientation games
Games in information commons
Game software and hardware collections
Games to train staff

Individuals interested in contributing a chapter are invited to e-mail a proposal to the editors on or before August 31, 2007. Proposals should be 400-600 words and include information about your name, affiliation, a working title, and abstract. Authors of accepted proposals will be notified of acceptance by September 14, 2007. Full chapters will be expected by January 15, 2008.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Session: Information Literacy through a Unique Education Gaming Applications

By Annie Downey and Kristin Boyett from the University of North Texas

At the beginning of a three-year, three-quarter of a million dollar project to build an RPG.

Incorporates 3 Educational Elements: Information Literacy, Online Education, Educational Gaming

Game requires full participation- experiential learning, inquiry-based learning

Game design concept:
Character driven
Problem solving
Modules build on one another

Game can't be lame. They're sacrificing some learning to avert lameness.

Program requirements:
Student logins
Ability to save
Monitoring capabilities

Evaluation Plan:
Usability testing during development
Focus groups
Game designers on UNT faculty
Student evaluations (cross-compared with traditional LI)

Annie, Kristin, Programmer (hired at competitive salary), team of part-time/student programmers, faculty advisers

Budget: huge

My summary: Grants are cool. This definitely gave us some things to think about when we work on the Next Big Thing. Again, it's also nice to see that gaming has room for everyone, from the huge money projects to our little game.

Keynote Speech: Big Fun, big learning: Transforming the world through play

Good morning! Another live-blog from the land of Gaming, Learning and Libraries, this one by Gregory Trefry from GameLab (created Diner Dash- cool game!).

Held Come Out & Play Festival in NYC last year.

Real-life city-wide games, like Human Pong

Alternative Reality Games: large online games (like I Love Bees)

Big games are also partly social experiment: Huge pillow fight in a square in Toronto

The Canon:
PacManhattan- people strap Pac Man suit on and run around Washington Square with ghosts chasing you, marked off areas and used cell phones to call when he arrived in
Mogi-Mogi- people pick up virtual objects using cell phones
Big Urban Game- people took big balloons around city, anyone could join (in Twin Cities)
The Beast- tie-in with movie AI. Microsoft thought they designed 6 months of content, people on online bulletin boards solved in 3 days
Space Invaders- projected on a building in Manhattan, used motion-detecting cameras for movement (could we do this on the side of Jackson Library? AH)
Journey to the End of the Night- Kind of like Zombie Tag. People had to run all over NYC and try to avoid capture
You Are Not Here- paper with NYC map on one side and Baghdad on the other, had to hold paper up to sun and find places in Baghdad by going to places in NYC, when people arrived they learned about a place in Baghdad
Payphone Warriors- Identified 30 or 40 payphones in the city and people had to make a call from each one. Like Capture the Flag.

His Trip to the Library: Hadn't been in a while, went to NYPL (it was closed)
Library Assets: many locations (game board!), Collections (photos, etc.), Spaces (built-in territory to capture), Content, Persistence, Unique Identifiers (scanners would be cool), Referees (librarians), Tools (copiers, computers, wifi), Display (to keep track of the game), Refreshments

5 Ideas:
Secret Agent (scavenger hunt)- secret meeting spots, ask referee a question, avoiding detection (to avoid disturbing others, say if referees catch you, you'll lose points), collect codes (like DaVinci Code), Level Up (higher level after a certain number of tasks)
Then and Now (citywide photo hunt)- take old photos and ask students to take pictures of what it looks like now
Rent Control- the real real estate game- uses old rent maps
Abolish (ARG)- narrative about ending slavery
Babel! (Code breaking)- students in teams have to figure out a message
Dewey's Demons (collect creatures generated by codes)- web-based game where checking out books give them codes which can give them characters

Process: Look around the world, Give normal activities goals, Simple ways to track moves, Playtest, playtest, playtest

My summary: I want to create a big game for our library. Now. That would definitely improve the fun quotient of our freshman library tour.
Oh yeah, and project an old arcade game on the library tower.

Come out and play, September 28-29

Monday, July 23, 2007

Another Session: Making Book: Gaming in the Library

By Natalie Gick, Simon Fraser University

GamesRoom is in it's third iteration

GamesRoom v1: TechBC
Student Initiative: for game design, other areas of study, future employment

GamesRoom v2: SFU Surrey
PCs, Consoles and TVs
Students using GamesRoom started using other library services

GamesRoom v3: New campus
About 500 sq. ft.
Gaming equipment and shelving, soundproof

400+ games
3 day loan
Boxes shelved, games behind shelf
Lock or loan (TVs are locked down, everything else is checked out)

Also have a guitar and a driving wheel

PC Games
Over 100
4 hour loan (for in-library use)

Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS

Legacy Systems: Reproduction arcade game with lots of old games

Copyright and Loans
PC Games: Click-through licenses, compromise is 4 hour loan period
Console games: DVD-like
Permission to Loan: who owns rights?, asking was largely unsuccessful

Partnerships/Collaboration: Library, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Academic Computing Services (buy and support), Student Games Club (3 liaisons to library)

Management: Pre-load (can run out of space), now hybrid (pre-install some, students install others, regularly re-image)

Multiplayer gaming: Games Night in the labs (sponsored by Games Club), computers are reimaged the next day

Online Gaming: uses too much bandwidth

Selecting Games: Students, Gaming Research Group, Faculty & Graduate Students, Librarian Jamie Anderson (use Metacritic, Game Developer Choice Awards, BAFTA, School Library Journal to help)

Purchasing Games: Amazon, Best Buy, Baker & Taylor, EB Games, Library Acquisitions (Platform, version, direct link to game)

Cataloging: Searchable platform (538 System Requirements) or Local MARC field (made searchable, created authority file for platform names), game Key is suppressed in local field

Challenges: Equipment failures, Noise, Monopolized (not enough women), Abuse of privileges

Code of Conduct

My summary: What a fantastic idea for libraries! A space that's completely fun for students to use to blow off steam. That is a great way of doing outreach.

Next Techsource Session: Gaming in the Library: From Collections to Services and Beyond

By Lisa Hinchcliff from UIUC

Gaming Initiative:

Games are an important text of our culture, trying to create a historic collection today
Needs assessment
Funding: used media and monograph money, Friends of Library, donations
Collection Storage: anything that would fit into lockable DVD case is on shelf, Guitar Hero guitar is at desk
Access and Use Policies: 1 week checkout (same as movies)
Licensing/Publisher Relations: game system games not a problem, PC games are a problem because of registration

Game as Object (the game itself) vs. Game as Experience (game as people played it)
Vintage Games Donations
Emulation and Emulators (code)
XBox Live and Nintendo Virtual Console

Teaching and Research
Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary
Classroom Use and Support (games on reserve, loaded on library computers)

Gaming News Blog
Gaming Nights
Librarians as Researchers and Teachers
Collaborations on Archival and Use Standards
Campus Gaming in Learning Symposium in Fall 2008

Summary: UIUC does cool stuff.

Gaming in Academic Libraries: The Why and How

This session is being presented by our friends down the road, Lynn Sutton and Giz Womack from Wake Forest, and Lori Critz from Georgia Tech.

Wake Forest heard about Game Night from Georgia Tech, as a marketing technique to reach freshmen who don't attend library tours. They also wanted to support innovation and creativity. They also see gaming as more than marketing, games were social networks before there were social networks.
Game Night Formats
Open Game Nights:
Two on Fridays in September from 7-11
One on Friday in February from 7-11

Held on a Friday in February from 3-6

Students registered in advance for both formats, they can come without signing up, but can't play

Partners- Library IT Team Staff, Resident Technology Advisors (already established relationship)
Equipment- LCD Projectors (got old ones from campus IT), Screens, Students bring systems
Supplies- Food, Extension Cords, Tape and Sharpies (for labeling equipment), RCA connectors, Trophies

Email, flyers, word of mouth, student newspaper, flyers with lollipops attached, You Tube video

First one- $425 (rented screens)
Subsequent ones- about $170 (have since purchased screens)

Have surveyed students twice
  • Students like the events
  • Students like bringing their own consoles
  • They like both open gaming and tournaments
  • Keep mixing it up

Georgia Tech Gaming

Part of RATS (Recently Acquired Tech Students) Week
Get library staff involved with students
Brand library as center of technology

Facebook, flyers, posters

Formed committee with IT and library (IT set up LAN, library handled everything else)

Used Unreal Tournament (1st person shooter)

Also included food, music, DDR, demos, GT improv group, A capella club, Anime Club, etc.

Projection Screen (rented for $500, about 12 feet wide)
Computer Stations- Game loaded on each machine, dusted each machine to limit overheating, headphones added

4-30 minute elimination rounds and finals
64 players per round
Finalists= Top 4 scorers for each round
Gamers could use own controller
Players pre-registered for time slots

Semifinalists won headphones, B&N giftcards, flash drives
Winner won 20 GB hard drives

Took a lot of time

Coolness factor
Face recognition
Partnership with IT
Subtle indoctrination
Clubs see library as good partner
Image boost for staff

Lessons learned:
Unreal Tournament had limited appeal to females and non-gamers
350 estimated hours of labor put in
Not possible without volunteers

Today at GT:
Changed date away from fraternity rush (crowd increased to 700!)
Retro gaming (Donkey Kong, Pac Man)
Board games
Poker tournament
Speed dating
Ninja Tag

My thoughts:
This presentation was great. I enjoyed seeing how other universities do Game Night. I'm glad that our Game Night is very low-key in comparison. We don't do signups anymore, and the LAN tournament just sounds way too labor-intensive for me! Also, our experience with cleanup was vastly different than that at GT. After our first Game Night. I picked up one cup. I think the students so badly wanted us to do it again that they went out of their way to make sure things were picked up. Many of them also stuck around to help us clean up.

Also, I have to echo their emphasis on working with student groups. Our Game Night would be nearly impossible without the help of the Science Fiction Fantasy Federation, Student Government and the Campus Activities Board. SFCubed provides our game systems and does some marketing, SG helps with marketing, and CAB markets and checks IDs at the door. Without their help, we probably couldn't pull it off.

I'm already excited about our next Game Night on September 5!

Live from ALA Techsource Gaming Symposium!

I'm blogging live from ALA Techsource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium, where I'll be blogging for the next two days. Scott and I are speaking tomorrow morning, so if you're here, please come and see us!