Thursday, November 15, 2007

November 19 - 25, week 11: Gaming & Virtual Worlds

Games are fun. Gaming nights are a good way to attract users to a public library. This is true, but it is not why we are covering gaming for the 23 Things.

The gaming we are talking about is computer gaming - online, video, console based, hand held and PC. Gaming can be used as an immersive, compelling and engaging way of providing access to information and education.


Thing 19. Attend a workshop to create an avatar in Second Life
Thing 20. Play the yellow part of the Austin Community College's InfoGame.

THIS WEEKS BLOG POST: Which of the tools covered so far seems the most useful to libraries?


Over 79% of Australian households have a device for playing computer and video games. 41% of gamers are women and 8% are seniors. The average age of Australian gamers is 28, but this is rising and expected to be 42 by 2014. ( Jeffrey E Brand of Bond University Interactive Australia 2007 : facts about the Australian computer and video game industry ). Market research from Parks Associates shows that US consumers play online games more often than watch online videos or visit social networking sites.

Rightly or wrongly, many students bring information finding strategies they use in gaming when they do research using our online tools. Several are spending hours immersed in incredibly engaging and sophisticated computer interfaces, where they are able to contribute to the action - so library websites look very different by comparison.

Gaming gives students skills like:

  • Ability to quickly read and comprehend massive amounts of information on a screen.

  • An understanding that many strategies and attempts may be necessary to accomplish a task.

  • A reluctance to read wordy instructions.

  • A preference to learn an online system by trying it out.

  • An ability to rapidly synthesise facts and make split second decisions.

  • Ability to learn a new interface very quickly.

  • Ability to handle sudden or unexpected changes in their interface.

  • Creative and lateral thinking.

  • Collaboration.

  • Teamwork.
  • Ability to quickly assess what information is relevant and what is just noise.
Inside Higher Education reported on the American Library Association Symposium on Gaming, Learning and Libraries in the article When "digital natives" go to the library. The comments on the article are fascinating - they discuss the difference between the gaming digital natives and the librarians who serve them in our libraries.


A quick guide to gaming in libraries Ellyssa Kroski - over 20 articles about gaming listed

Audio files from most sessions of the American Library Association Symposium on Gaming, Learning and Libraries

Slideset by Beth Gallaway. Very comprehensive review of gaming in all types of libraries Get your Game On: Video Gaming at the Library


Online virtual worlds use a similar immersive 3D interface as gaming. Characters called avatars can move around the environment and interact with objects and other avatars. There are however no gameplays, strategies, rules or points.

Educational and library sites in Online Virtual worlds sit side by side with porn and gambling sites, just like on the World Wide Web. Online virtual worlds are still developing and as technology improves, they will get more sophisticated and easier to use.

Online Virtual Worlds were named by Educause and the New Media Consortium in their Horizon Report 2007 as one of six technologies likely to have significant impact on education in the next five years. Gartner Inc., which bills itself as the "world's leading information and technology research company, claimed on 24th April 2007 that "by the end of 2011, 80 percent of active Internet users (and Fortune 500 enterprises) will have a “second life,” but not necessarily in Second Life
Many unversities are experimenting with an Online Virtual World called Second Life. Murdoch University has a presence there, as does Harvard, Princeton, University of Oxford, Griffiths, Monash, RMIT, AFTRS and USQ. Over 600 librarians are experimenting with providing library services on the 40 island Information Archipelago where Murdoch Library has a plot of land.

In Second Life, avatars can run, fly, teleport, swim, dance, drive cars and communicate with other avatars through typed chat or (if the user is wearing a headset) voice. Objects can be set up so that touching one (eg. a bookcase) can make the users' webbrowser got to a specific website (eg. Libraries Australia). Databases like PubMed can be searched within a Second Life building and RSS feeds can be displayed in Second Life. ABC Island, for example, has a dome where the latest ABC news headlines are displayed.

This 23 minute slidecast (audio and slides) explains more about Second Life, Libraries, Universities and Murdoch University Library (Presentation at the Queensland University Libraries Office of Communication event, Social Software in Libraries, Wednesday 9th October 2007)

FURTHER READING - blog of the Alliance Library Service in Second Life .

Ten very good reasons why your librarians should be in Second Life

Six very bad reasons to have a library branch in Second Life


Guess the google You are shown 20 images and you need to work against the clock to guess the keyword that would retrieve them all in a google search.

1 comment:

Dissertation said...

Absolutely right you said about the gaming which is an entertaining event and also shows the skills,which is also a structured playing, usually undertaken for enjoyment and sometimes used as an educational tool,and the requirement for player interaction puts activities such as jigsaw puzzles and solitaire games into the category of puzzles rather than games,so these are the main preservatives.