October 3, 2007

Gaming Roundup

A few things I’ve wanted to blog about in-depth but am just throwing out there for now.

  • Paul over at ResearchQuest beat me to the punch to post about Carnegie Mellon University’s Library Arcade. This is a must-read, must-play combo for all library staff interested in using gaming in instruction. Heck, maybe we should have a leaderboard on this one. 😉 I love the idea of adapting an old school style game (like “Diner Dash”) but putting a library spin on it.
  • When I wasn’t looking, Penn State turned its Virtual Worlds blog into a big ol’ Educational Gaming Commons, now with forums in addition to the blog.
  • Chris attended the Games, Learning, and Society Conference back in July (the one that I also went to), and you can read his notes over on LibLaureate. In his reflections on James Paul Gee’s opening keynote, Chris wrote, “When do we reach a threshold and go grab a walk-through or a cheat code? Is this the importance of social networks – I’ve reached so far and now I need some help?” That’s a great question, and I think the answer is yes.
  • At Learning2007 later this month, they’re going to do a Rapid Learning Game Experiment. While the exercise itself is fascinating, it’s the last sentence that intrigues me most (emphasis is mine).

    “We are going to push Gaming for Learning Development to the max in an upcoming experiment. Here are the ingredients:

    • Take several undergraduate students from Champlain College’s Electronic Gaming & Interactive Development Program in Vermont and bring them to Orlando for Learning 2007.
    • Give them an assignment to create a Learning Focused Game, defined by a group of companies at Learning 2007.
    • Over the next 58 hours, in full view of 2,000 participants – with feedback every few hours – they will build an web based immersive learning game.
    • This learning activity will then be reviewed, edited and released into Open Source for the entire global community to use.
  • The following video is just awesome in every sense of the word. I laughed, I cried, and then I laughed some more. Watch the whole thing to find out who’s behind it. Not only is it an object lesson in how social gaming can be and how libraries could implement it, but it’s also a great marketing lesson for us. I’ll definitely be showing snippets of this one in my presentations.

10:42 pm Comments (5)

Little Mama Library and Trust in the Digital World

Library sign posted by the gloaming
originally posted by thegloaming

This is my new favorite library sign. I always think you can send a better message using humor than heavy-handedness, although in this case, the librarians are also making a great statement about privacy.

I’ve been mulling over a lot lately the trust librarians have built up with users just through our actions (they speak louder than words, right?). I think there’s a lot we can do here, teaching people (and especially students) how to manage their online identity. “How to be a good digital citizen” should also include how to represent yourself online, in addition to how to participate and media literacy in general.

I’ve also been thinking about “persistence” a lot lately, and I’ll be writing more about that because I think it’s one of our biggest assets in the digital world (from many different angles, too).

In the meantime, I’m happy to see Bloglines has incorporated OpenID, something I wish libraries – and particularly library vendors – would pay more attention to. To learn more about what Bloglines is doing in this area, go to http://www.bloglines.com/about/news and scroll down to the current second item (or just try going here). (Hopefully the folks at BL are in the process of turning this page into a blog so that we can point to specific news in the future, rather than one long page. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge, say no more.) Bonus points to them for adding openID authentication in the first place.

I’d like to think libraries could be influential in educating Americans about the benefits of OpenID and help folks tame some of this chaos. The more sites that use an open standard like this (cough, libraries, cough), the better it is for all of us. And let’s face it, in a situation like this, who are you going to trust – your local library or Big Brother?

5:44 am Comments (3)