Friday, June 08, 2007

A Librarian's Plea for 'Serious Gaming'

This report is in the Chronicle of Higher Education. It is titled A Librarian's Plea for 'Serious Gaming'. Please note the reference to gaming applications to information literacy instruction.

From the Chronicle:

Here’s a sign that “serious gaming” is hitting its stride: Corporate monoliths like MTV, Reebok, and Starbucks are all giving it a shot. The companies have commissioned games that tackle weighty topics like global warming and the genocide in Darfur, notes Michelle Boule, the social-sciences librarian at the University of Houston.

In a guest post at ACRLog, Ms. Boule argues that libraries could learn a lot from those corporations. In seminars and workshops, information literacy can seem like an abstract topic. But in video games, she says, the topic might come to life: “Information modeled in an online environment can become almost anything from a maze, to an amusement park, to a fully formed world and story.”

Most libraries lack the budget and expertise to create fully formed information-literacy games of their own, Ms. Boule notes. But now that some libraries are carving out space and buying equipment for video-game players, she says, it might be time for those institutions to take a closer look at serious gaming. —Brock Read

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