Overview of games and gamers./n Some learning using digital games./n 12 areas of interest to the wider library community./n Online games: World of Warcraft and Second Life./n The attributes of a gamer.
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Digital Games and Digital Libraries
Before we start…
I am not a librarian too…
Presentation by John Kirriemuir (no beard!)
and “Lucky the dog”
… pick up objects …
aggregate objects …
Who … There are many, many surveys. Most focus on the US games market. Key trends and facts:
People play against friends, neighbours, work colleagues and family. The top four reasons parents play video games with their children:
(ESA 2006 survey)
According to a Nielsen entertainment survey, men spend more on computer games than they do on music.
It also found that games are starting to attract significant numbers of players beyond the core target market of males aged eight to 34. “Almost a quarter of gamers, 24%, are over 40 years, said the report.” It found that 40% of US homes own a PC, game console or handheld gaming device.
Almost a quarter of these, 23%, own all three types of gaming gadget and the vast majority of gamers, 89%, do their playing via a console.
Here’s his electrical items list:
(btw whatever happened to “convergence”?)
A lot of research into this, especially learning psychology. Two (related) oft-said questions:
1. “Why does someone voluntarily do the same repetitive task in a game over and over?”
2. “How can this enthusiasm / keenness / determination / focus be transferred to learning situations?”
…using digital games
JISC Strategy 2004-2006:
“In the home, set-top boxes together with digital television and games consoles are increasing the proportion of the population with access to online interactive services and may offer new opportunities for learning to reach more people.”
“Young people will lose the ability to hold paper”
“Games are widely used as educational tools, not just for pilots, soldiers and surgeons, but also in schools and businesses…. Games require players to construct hypotheses, solve problems, develop strategies, learn the rules of the in-game world through trial and error.
Gamers must also be able to juggle several different tasks, evaluate risks and make quick decisions…. Playing games is, thus, an ideal form of preparation for the workplace of the 21st century, as some forward-thinking firms are already starting to realise.”
The Economist, August 4, 2005
Examples of use:
Cross-curricula games very popular
Used in schools for:
Examples of use:
Martyn Thompson, head of P.E. at Groby Community College (14 to 19 year olds), Leicestershire, UK (pictures authorised by same). Lunchtime and after-school optional classes.
Typical assumption is that every student would use an individual copy of the game, working in isolation.
No! Most effective models of teaching require great social interaction.
Both models require:
The teacher has control of the game, and leads the class through appropriate scenarios. The class have to tackle the appropriate scenario before moving on.
Game control is passed around, or the teacher retains it for the duration of the exercise. Usually uses one computer and a projector.
The class is split into different teams. The teams collaborate internally, and use the game to “compete” against each other e.g. which team can develop the most economically stable city using an urban planning simulator.
The teacher sets the task, answers queries, helps the teams to an appropriate extent, adjudicates, and leads the class debriefing.
12 areas where libraries
and digital games collide…
“Here at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France we deal with legal deposits of video games. Since 1992, video games are part of patrimonial collections. Every video game distributed in France must send in two copies to the French national library.
Our missions are based on exhaustively collecting these kinds of documents as we do with others, cataloguing, and preserving in order to ensure long term access for researchers. We work closely to the game community to defend the game as a document and an object for scientific research.”
Relatively problematic; needs a lot of resources.
“I don't know if this counts, but at my library we're just starting to have video games in our After-School Zone. Kids and teens can go in from 3:15 until 5:00 every day and get a small snack, study or play games. We get a lot of latchkey kids, and we figured that if we entertain them, they're less likely to get into trouble, and they'll be less likely to clump up on the public computers. Originally we'd wanted to buy a set of laptops for the After-School Zone, but we couldn't work out the computer issues. The video games were a second-best solution.”
Allison Angell, Head Youth Services Librarian
Benicia (California) Public Library
“Check out our newest public library branch in South Carolina – called the Carvers Bay Branch Library. We opened the library two weeks ago with 10 Xbox 360s and 8 gaming PCs, and we plan to use them to persuade young people to register for library cards and to read: the games will serve as the hook for more library usage.
The library is located right in front of a high school and middle school campus in the poorest, rural area of our county where illiteracy is currently 30% and library card registration is only 2%.”
Director, Georgetown County Library
When people play digital games, they use a wide variety of materials. This is a little-researched area i.e. the effects on literacy through games support.
“Visitors to the British Library will be able to get wireless internet access alongside the extensive information available in its famous reading rooms.
A study revealed that 86% of visitors to the Library carried laptops.
The technology has been on trial since May (2004) and usage levels make the Library London's most active public hotspot.”
BBC News website, November 18th 2004
Old style of data entry: keyboard and mouse
Moving rapidly towards a “no wire” gaming environment.
Simple voice recognition and touch screen technology could enable more effective searching through these richer environments, especially through mobile devices.
The positive side of using the library LAN..
Several variations on the following been done as small, in-house projects:
No large-scale version of this … yet.
(as described by Walt Scacchi, UCgamelab)
CERLIM providing the digital library
infrastructure for the game data.
Where things get very interesting…
World of Warcraft is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG). You explore, and team up with people to complete quests, elavating your status.
At any given time over 500,000 subscribers are online. (Rotterdam = 588,000 residents)
“While some early parts of World of Warcraft can be experienced alone without the help of other players, it is fundamentally a group-centric game.
Some of the game's low-level, less rewarding dungeons can be completed with small groups of up to five members, called "parties."
The most challenging (and rewarding) encounters, however, require the cooperation of many players, with the maximum totalling 40 players, which are referred to as "raids".”
“The game fundamentally changes upon reaching level 60, its raid-dependent (and time-consuming) nature a vast departure from the relatively casual experience of advancing one's character from levels 1 to 60.
The majority of World of Warcraft's endgame content (for level 60 players) requires raiding, with 40-player raids making up the bulk of the game's development since release.
The game's most complex dungeons and encounters are designed to take raiding guilds months of playtime and many attempts before they succeed.”
Much of this is changing in real-time. Need to constantly monitor it all while figuring out the game and while playing the game.
“The Gaming Generation & Libraries: Intersections” by Constance A. Steinkuehler.
groups of people
and running training courses
for their staff
Several libraries built / under construction
…There is also Info Island, home to the Second Life Library 2.0, a collaboration between the Alliance Library System and Online Programming for All Libraries (OPAL).
"More and more educators see Second Life as a way to engage students," says ALS director of innovation Lori Bell. "We wanted to see what role a library could play."
A group of about 35 librarians have volunteered their time to build structures and stock the collection, which includes searchable indexes, audio and video clips, and books, many of which are public domain and available to own.
The library also offers live help at certain hours of the day, for the typical real-life reference questions that inevitably come up, and it will hold live events like authors' chats and tours.
The library is also exploring ways to offer learning experiences that simply would not be possible in real life. It is working with the Library of Congress to build a Declaration of Independence room, where a larger-than-life-size copy of the document will be on display along with additional readings, audio ﬁles, and period furniture.
There's also a library in the works on Caledon, the exclusively 19th-century island where avatars wear period dress.
Play more games
Many people play them
Across many demographics
Mainstream form of entertainment
Instant response to trial and error (implications for teaching and learning)
Cognitive and neural changes and development
Encourages online exploration
Did I say “Play more games”…?
Keep kids quiet in the library
Get people into the library
Circulating support materials
(Ab)using the library network
Mobile library catalogue access
Library researcher: the game
Accelerated online multi- tasking
Huge real-time social networkingSummary and pointers