David Ward and Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign shared their knowledge and experience with video games. The session focused on collecting, providing access, and the use of gaming for research and learning.
The old educational games weren't fun. The new words to describe this segment of the gaming market is serious games. The site Serious Game Source provides news and is a good place to get up to speed on what is out there. River City and Quest Atlantis were cited as examples of serious games currently being used to teach environmental issues.
The Undergraduate Library at UIUC is buying games. They are doing this to provide access for research, learning, entertainment, and for preservation. David said that 75% of their game collection is checked out at any given time. They have purchased game systems and installed them on carts. Students can check out these carts for use in the library.
A game night was held in the library. A faculty member researching games was invited to speak. Lisa indicated that the students were engaged and asked the faculty member a lot of questions. She said that they had to cut the Q&A short to get to the gaming tournament running.
Students have donated old gaming systems and games to the library for archival purposes. One of the problems is running old games without the correct hardware. This can sometimes be addressed by using emulators that can run on a PC.
A professor asked that they put a PC game on reserve. They had some challenges working with the game's publisher since this is new territory and the publisher wasn't set up to sell multiple copies to a library. They ended up buying 30 licenses and installing the game on lab machines for student's to use.
They use the ESP Game to teach students about picking keywords. We played it during the session. It was fun. I want to try this out in a class, but it will not be until next Fall since we're three weeks away from the end of the term.
Their Video Game and Gaming Collection pages provide more information about what they are doing. They recommended we read:
- Game Design: The Art and Business of Creating Games by Bob Bates (2001)
- What Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy by James Gee (2003)
- Games and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks by David Gibson and Clark Aldrich (2006)
- Literature Review in Games and Learning by John Kiriemuir and Angela McFarlane
technorati tag: acrl2007