Article Title: Designing and Testing a Web-Based Board Game for Teaching Information Literacy Skills and Concepts
Authors: Markey et al.
Journal: Library Hi Tech, 26(4), 2008, 663-681
I've thought of this article often since I stumbled on it a few months ago, but apparently never posted my notes on it. This is an excellent article to read to learn about all the things NOT to do when building library video games. This game had a large budget with money for the game development and offering large cash rewards to the winning team.
The game was incredibly long and labor-intensive. Players could save their progress and return to it. It was built to be played anywhere, but required players to look things up in physical resources, so it really needed to be played in the library. However, when it was required that players use physical resources, the game input was multiple choice, which allowed players to guess, and even if they were wrong, they could still continue the game.
Interestingly, even when the rewards for the winning teams were several hundred dollars, it was only when extra credit was offered that a large portion of the players became involved. I think this is an important lesson. There is no game that we could develop that students would rush to the library site to play. Games must be either done in as a captive audience, or be kept very short with a specific goal. And even then, it's useful to promote it to faculty as something that should be required as homework.
I feel bad that so much money went into a project that seems poorly planned. It's still support for my argument that librarians should build small-scale games, see what works, and build on them through their experiences and student feedback.