LibraryGame

Report
Rethinking the Library Game:
Creating an Alternative Reality with Social Media
Jason J. Battles
Valerie D. Glenn
Lindley C. Shedd
The University of Alabama
4/8/2015
Libraries and Gaming
• Gaming in Libraries
• Wii, DDR, Rock Band, board games
• Libraries in Games
• Second Life
• Library Games
• General focus on information literacy
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Libraries and Gaming
• Why create a library game?
• Promote information literacy
• Highlight library resources
• Engage users
• Don’t we need a programmer?
• No. You just need creative staff
members, clear game objectives, and
web skills.
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Learning Objectives of the Game
• Highlight resources and collections
• Special Collections
• Electronic Journals
• Online Course Reserves
• Initiate students on how to access and
search these resources
• Encourage critical thinking of
participants
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What Will Engage Students?
• “Academic Games Are No Fun”
• http://games.slashdot.org/games/07/12/05/13023
3.shtml
• Games they play
• Halo and Call of Duty
• MMOGs like World of Warcraft
• Guitar Hero and Rock Band
• Online sites they use
• Facebook
• YouTube
• Twitter
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Finding the Right Game Format
• Libraries cannot directly compete with
most commercial games
• Determine your available resources
• Financial
• Human
• Incorporate popular social media sites
to engage students where they are
• Develop manageable game objectives
and a strong concept to keep players
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Alternate Reality Games (ARG)
• Web-based and story-driven design
• Disguises the fact that it is a game at all
• No defined rules
• Runs over a fixed period of time
• Player reveals the plot and goals through
interacting with game components
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Alternate Reality Games (ARG)
• http://www.argn.com
• This is Not a Game by Dave Szulborski
• Internet-based and story driven
• Examples:
• http://www.massivedynamic.com/
• http://www.marevitreum.com/
• http://www.tracesofhope.com/
• Indiana University’s ARG work
•
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http://www.argn.com/2008/09/indiana_university_combat
s_the_freshman_fifteen_with_skeleton_chase/
Why an ARG?
• Non-traditional approach that is more
engaging for players
• Does not require large budgets or a
team of programmers
• Social media sites are natural locations
for game components
• ARGs have been successful in
marketing movies, television shows,
and video games
• Why not libraries?
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Our Game - Project Velius
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Considerations in Building our ARG
• Development directed by diverse team of
library personnel with limited resources
• No additional funding
• No team of programmers
• Limited student work allotment
• Game must be completely online
• Game should be accurate representation
of how library resources are accessed
and used
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Building an ARG
• Story creation is the most important
element of ARGs, but it is also the most
difficult
• The story plays out like a screenplay
• The creation of game assets is
dependent on the creation of the
storyline
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Project Velius Storyline
• Developed over several months by
three committee members
• Main character and her boyfriend work
at a biotech company
• He goes missing
• She uses clues found in library
resources and social media venues to
find him
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Our Game – Project Velius
• http://www.projectvelius.com
• Library Resources
• Unique historical collection
• Electronic journal article
• Online course reserves
• Social Media Components
• Web sites
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Social Media Components
• Facebook group
• Served as the hub of the game
• Facilitated player interaction
• Twitter accounts
• YouTube video
• WordPress blogs
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v
=WJwnsWaBpCc
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Web Sites
• www.projectvelius.com
• Main gateway for the game
• www.yenosresearch.com
• Fake biotech corporation involved in a
questionable research program
• www.knowgarden.org
• Student homework site that was only
discoverable through game clues
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Running the Game
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Running the Game
• Ran over a six week period from
September 17 to October 22, 2009
• Blogs and Twitter were the main tools
used for character interaction
• Members of the development group
took on the roles of the characters
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Running the Game - Continued
• These puppeteers made blog posts and
tweets timed by a detailed script
• They also built the story’s alternate
reality through backdated blog entries
• One person served as a game master to
help players via the Facebook group
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Marketing
• No carrot
• Flyers, news ad, web ad
• Bibliographic Instruction sessions
• Freshman compass courses
• English 101
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Assessment
• Web stats
• Google Analytics
• WordPress
• Survey of players
• End of game event
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Lessons Learned
• Start with a bang!
• Keep them interested
• Resist controlling the tempo or gating
player progression
• Consider the length of the game
• Build something you can easily replicate
• Find collaborations to help with aspects
of the game that are not your strength
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Lessons Learned - Continued
• Understand the limitations and use
policies of any social media tools you
intend to employ
• Think about the need to track players
• Create buy-in among the campus
community
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Next Steps
• Follow advancements in technology,
gaming, and instruction
• Continue to examine what motivates
players in games
• Find ways to include students in the
creation and development
• Consider external collaborations
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Contact Information
Jason J. Battles
[email protected]
Valerie Glenn
[email protected]
Lindley Shedd
[email protected]
4/8/2015

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