On Wednesday, I had a good conversation with Chad, from Library Voice, about the type of game that could be created to teach plagiarism. Given the struggles others are having, we talked about modding existing games. I think there is some real potential here with modding, but it is still not a quick project. Here is an summary of my ideas from our conversation, mainly on some very initial thoughts on information literacy video game possibilities. I'd love your feedback...
Information literacy is about being a life long leaner, being aware of what you are given, evaluating, using critical thinking, and being able to apply it... right? So... why does that have to be set in a library setting?
I'm been thinking about modding not for a library setting, but still using those skills. Game based consequences if you use wrong info or don't collect all the info. A plagiarism game where the player is tasked with some sort of retrieval or escort mission. There is a need / goal to discover the correct information to complete the quest, solve the mystery, whatever.
The player is tasked with exploring a few limited areas to find and bring back the info or person, but along the there are non-playable characters (NPCs) giving false direction and/or false information about what is to be retrieved. Some NPCs will give accurate info, but the player is responsible to evaluate the information based on their previous info and game context. I player could take that inaccurate / false info back and report it for an attempt at a complete mission, but it would result in failure or continue exploring...
Talking to other NPC would result in small inconsistencies in the information, suggesting it is wrong. The true answer could be found through the primary source... Maybe a craving on a wall, or the back of a photo (depending on the setting). Maybe it's the answer or sequence to a puzzle.
The more I've been thinking about it, I'm leaning to smaller more contained experiences. Maybe 15-30 minutes. Something inside a class or stand alone experience. This doesn't try to tackle too much and allows the creation of the game to focus on a limited scope. Smaller more focused experiences also would be applied to a variety of class situations and libraries. Part of the application comes in the reflection and the discussion afterward. Either in-class or through a brief set of reflection question online. If we can make the connection about the consequences
of not using your own work, not evaluating and trusting sources, and not giving credit where something came from (an NPC question about where the info came from)... then the lesson/game is getting at the underlying principles of academic honesty.
I know I've got a lot more reading on game design to do (and people to work with), but everything has a beginning.
What do you think? Please give me your thoughts, the more honest (ie. harsh) the better.