I need to come up with a better title for this blog (suggestions welcome) because Google Alerts can't find references to this blog with such a generic title. But I have been alerted of some great sources that don't reference me. Today, I was alerted to the CALC Keynote speaker for 2008's slides on Slideshare. The speaker was Alice Robison of MIT and the presentation title was Videogames at the Library?! Using Games as Learning Tools. I regret that it does not include audio for the presentation, so I'm making as much sense out of the slides as possible.
One interesting thing she points out, and that I just recently found in the book Got Game I'm currently working through, is the idea of gamers seeing themselves as a hero on a quest with obstacles, puzzles, and problems to overcome. This is something I am pondering for use in the classroom. I may put together either a presentation or a game that presents the researcher as a hero on a quest for next year using images from popular video games. This may be a good way to bring games into the physical world. I could provide the story to the entire class, then present each obstacle and let them work through that in groups.
Another thing that Dr. Robison points out is that gamers are willing to seek help through forums and walk-throughs, and are willing to share what they know and tutor others. This is something that is a frustration for nearly every reference librarian. If we could somehow use games to get students to ask questions from "experts" in addition to learning from each other, this could be a major breakthrough in reference.