GLLS2007: Video Games at Urbana-Champaign

Lisa Hinchliffe, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, thankfully filled in for one of the speakers who could not come. I believe the presentation was very similar to her ACRL 2007 presentation.

As the head of undergraduate library, Lisa recognizes the strength of the gaming industry, the social aspects, and the educational applications as a potential strength for their institution. The University's strategic plan identified a need and created one of the library's goals: "gaming for the ages." Gaming ranked high enough to include in the strategic plan. Their gaming collection web site.

Collections for games depository: needs assessment, funding, collection storage, access, policies (1 week check-out, 70-80% of games checked out at any one time; game policies mirror DVD/media policies). The library acknowledges a responsiblities to future researchers to preserve games for primary research. In order to create the historic collection it is important to consider consoles as well as games. Commitment to building a collection as a major research institute. The library is treating it as text to be archived. Willing to allocate book money to help build collection, because of the unique need. As for storage, anything that fits in a DVD case goes on the shelf everything is behind the desk. The libraries takes the attitude that it is willing to loose a few in order to provide access.

Games as experience vs games as object
How does a library archive the experience of the game for future research? Video journals? Recorded gameplay experience? What is a meaningful language for researchers?

Students and support staff are "passionate" about donating their older games and systems for archive. Student Gaming association did a "game drive" to collect vintage / retro games for archive

Faculty put Civilization IV on course reserves. How do you manage the licensing issues, crashes and other issues? The library created a "gaming cluster" in order to run PC games on their computers. Faculty are using it in their own research as well as creating specific modded games for classes. Faculty researcher on video games talked at one game night and it had a huge student turnout.

Librarians rethinking their roles as researchers and teachers through games. The campus is organizing a "campus gaming symposium 2008"

Lisa is interested and hopeful to try to find a way to adapt our OPAC's with game design. Why couldn't students learn and practice skills with a game-based OPAC. The interface design would be engaging, the system would provide feedback loops with a sense of play. What kind of feedback can we give them to encourage their attempts, not discourage failures and let them know with their search was right. OPAC based on game design would also help build community development (social networking apps to keep them connected).

The future directions at Urbana-Champaign with the potential for a specific video game librarian and historic archive on gaming.


Andrew said...

I'm just confirming that the presentation you described is very similar to the one Lisa gave in Baltimore at ACRL. The last paragraph about the OPAC based on game design is new. It is a very interesting concept. Looking forward to more reports from GLLS2007.

Paul said...

Lisa's comments on OPACs seemed to grow out of discussions she had at ACRL. It's a great idea and I'm interested to see how that plays out.

Thanks for reading Andrew.


Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe said...

Yes, given the 48 hours to prep for this fill-in talk while traveling for vacation during that time ... this was indeed a "version" of the ACRL talk presented with my colleague David Ward. (In that talk we reviewed Gee's learning and design principles - which was of course very unnecessary given we were inspired by Gee himself as keynote for GLLS!) The idea of "OPAC as game" was mentioned in the ACRL talk but I've had some time to think it out a bit more. I still don't know how to make it happen but using game design and game learning principles to re-create the library research experience is intriguing to me.