Can we do it? Yes we can!

While I started the week with some positive thoughts on the direction of library/info lit games (link), but with the stories coming out of ACRL about the troubles Cincinnati and GW are having; I am not surprised if your spirits are dampened about successfully using.

Librarians can use and create games that create educational experiences... at least with help.

There's not an easy answer. Some who I respect from the University of Iowa asked during my presention, "Is there something out there were we can jump in and create a game." I wish there was. As Cincinnati and GW are showing, gaming projects take time. Matthew Weise, designer of the educational game Revolution, said it took a group of 6-10 students at MIT over 3 semesters to build a game. Time is a major factor, but it shouldn't deter us. Yes, it's too bad the tech isn't there yet for an easy drop and play game. But the technology is there to Mod games and the resources are there as well... we work on campuses full of students who are doing modding and dabbling in game design on a regular basis. We can and should reach out to these communities to help create educational games. It's a win-win for both educators and students.

But I can't overlook the small successes. Incorporating video game strategies into our traditional instruction is beneficial and improves our teaching. While I'm starting to discuss and play around with developing and modding, I'm currently working on converting the content from a traditional power point slideshow into an open ended, branching path review.

Video game strategies work to engage our students in educational experiences both in the long term and the short term. As an educator, we can start big or small. But the reactions from those who are discouraged after starting big, suggest that small successes will be more successful in building the political capital required for the bigger gaming projects in our libraries.

Can we do it? Yes we can! And we should.


cathye said...


I'm Cathy Eisenhower, one of the Muckraker people at GW. We'd be happy to talk with you about what we've done if you like, and we are putting together a temporary web site with the Captivate version of the game (for demo purposes), the bibliography, and, if copyright allows, our paper. Now that I see others are blogging about this, maybe we'll try to set up a bulletin board or wiki or something to get/give feedback? We just never felt as though we had enough to create an online presence, but in hindsight, maybe blogging about our experiences as we went along would have been useful to others. I am not completely pessimistic about creating a game to help teach research, but I'm PRETTY pessimistic. We had almost no funding to do this, which is why we had only one programmer. Etc. etc. In any case, we'll post our link to ILI and other listservs when we get this stuff on the web. In the meantime, you can contact me at cathye at gwu dot edu.