Video Gaming for Information Literacy

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Video Gaming for Information LiteracyBy John Fudrow06.19.2009



Interactive Adventure

Multimedia Mystery

Online Board Games

Role Playing

Side ScrollerCITRICON

Benevolent BlueFirst Person Reader?

Library ArcadeIll Get ItWithin Range

Future Possibilities

Web Based or Big GameLong Playtime or Less Than a MinuteRole Play or Random ActivityTextual or GraphicalExperience or PerformanceIn House or OutsourcedSubject Based or General Library InfoTeach or EntertainDecisions

Questions?Harris, Amy, and Scott E. Rice. Gaming in Academic Libraries: Collections, Marketing, and Information Literacy. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries, 2008.

Quarantined: Axl Wise and the Information Outbreak

Blood on the Stacks at Trinity


Library Arcade

Benevolent Blue

Orange County Library System Library Game Links

Library Game BlogsLibrary Games


Research Quest

ALA Techsource

Resources & Game InfoEntertainment Software Association

Gaming Bibliography List

History of Video Gaming

Mnay of you may be wondering just why we are talking about gaming in a library. Not about using the public computers to host LAN parties, but rather to explore how gaming can be used to our advantage. When we talk about video games and education, many of us from my generation may remember the game Oregon Trail. This early educational game was extremely popular and found a way to blend historical literacy with a very entertaining gaming experience. It is easy to create a narrative game around historical events, but what could a library do to provide information literacy instruction while still be a fun game? Notre DameSeveral text based concepts mimic paper games while making them available online. They are effective activities but are limited in their immersion abilities. Games are successful when the player believes they are a part of the story and they have something invested in finishing the game. Simple word games are fun diversions but may leave the younger students bored with their simplicity.From paper to narrative some libraries have used images and words to guide the players into something akin to interactive tutorials. This type of game integrates library research activities with an interesting and engaging mystery storyline. Trinity UniversityThis is a multimedia spatial mystery that is more about outreach and library locations than information literacy. Though it is quite elaborate the concept could involve info lit aspects if so deisred.

Going back to the evolution of analog to digital, this concept mimics an actual board game for info lit instruction as a online game. This transition was rather successful but begged to be drawn out further. The limitations here are that the questions are merely closed ended questions for points. How does the user learn how to apply this knowledge in the library itself.Quarantined developed a in-depth role playing game that utilized library resources to solve a mystery. The player must search the catalog and decide what resources are viable as clues. This method gets closer to simulating decision making problems but requires a longer time for play than many other games. Would the investment in time be made by the player?Orange County Library System University of CalgaryThis mod of Half Life 2 set to make use of video game design technology in order to create a virtual space for new students. They recreated their library, in a very detailed manner, and allowed users to explore at their own pace. It is still in development.Some games have been developed to aid in IL instruction. Originally designed to be mini-games in a larger narrative, the 2 Library Arcade Games utilized fast gameplay and simple actions to find some modicum of success. The main problem for the developers was finding a means of assessing whether the player was actually grasping the concepts or just playing to beat their last score. Though they were extensible in nature, the issue of scoring correct answers was never fully completed. Further still, the librarians wanted to provide more instruction upon the player choosing a less than desirable resource, but to do so would interrupt the time based scoring and further detract from the quick and easy play style. Currently they are being translated into Arabic for a Middle Eastern release. There are many ways that games can be used to reach out or teach, but the success lies in melding your expectations with the capabilities of gaming. At its core gaming isnt primarily about teaching. The first video games were side projects designed by scientists. Though games become even closer to art or fully developed interactive cinema, the ability of libraries to use them to teach becomes even more challenging. Whatever the game design you choose, there are countless questions that face the design team. Each aspect also translates in some degree to any technology based initiative for education.ACRL Publication


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