Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
levels, hidden information, and randomness. Con-
trol is experienced as feelings of self-determination
when the gamer is presented with the opportunity
to make choices that produce a visible effect.
Fantasies involve both the emotions and thinking
process of the learner, so they can be employed
to provide relevant metaphors or analogies link-
ing the material covered to the emotional needs
of learners. As for curiosity, the authors argue it
exists in two different forms: sensory and cogni-
tive. Audio and visual effects in computer games
may enhance sensory curiosity, whereas puzzle
elements arouse cognitive curiosity.
Schaller (2006) extended this list by adding
two other criteria for an effective learning game:
iteration and reflection. Iteration is described as
vital to learning, because “whether it consists of
small iterations within the activity sequence, or
replaying the entire game to attempt alternate
strategies, iteration supports the learning process
by encouraging experimentation, hypothesis
testing, and synthesis” (p. 6). Reflection should
happen during this whole process. Thus, games
are better tools when they include an interactive
element that is sufficiently engaging to encourage
repeated usage with meaningful outcomes.
entertaining and easy-to-repeat activities. In one
of them, entitled “I'll Get It”, the player controls
a student character who must help his peers to
identify diverse research materials; the mouse
is used to pick up their requests and the library
catalog is available to look for helpful resources.
Players are asked to do their best to help the col-
league characters quickly in their research, or
they will get annoyed and leave the library. In the
other game, entitled “Within Range”, players are
asked to shelve topics in correct order to learn how
information is organized and categorized using
the Library of Congress Classification System
(Carnegie Mellon Libraries, n.d.).
The University of North Carolina at Greens-
boro also developed an interesting project for
undergraduates: “The Information Literacy Game”
is an online board game for up to four students
with a question-and-answer format. Players take
turns moving around the board answering ques-
tions and attempting to get one right in each of four
categories: “Choose Your Resource”, “Searching/
Using Databases”, “Cite Your Sources/Avoid
Plagiarism” and “Library Wild Card”. The game
incorporates Web evaluation exercises, given that
some squares on the board ask players to find
specific information on a website or to compare
websites based on criteria such as authority or cur-
rency. The educational objectives are for students
to: 1) Understand that information can be found
in a variety of sources; 2) Understand the func-
tion and use of information sources; 3) Identify
useful information from the library's catalog and
online databases; 4) Understand the way collec-
tions of information are organized and accessed;
5) Determine when to cite a source and cite it
properly using a specific citation style (Harris &
Rice, 2007). The game files (including images,
scripts, questions, sounds, and HTML documents)
are freely available for download, along with
instructions for other libraries to reconfigure it
using their own contents.
Another example is “Defense of Hidgeon”,
a University of Michigan's project born of the
Library Games
The presence of computer games in libraries is
not something new and Levine (2008) presents
several situations. Some libraries develop games
collections and/or topics about gaming, specially
in institutions offering courses associated to
computer games; others offer computer games
as a recreational, educational and professional
opportunities; and some use them to enrich and
complement existing teaching methods.
In fact, several academic libraries are already
attempting to develop information literacy skills
in students through computer games. For example,
Carnegie Mellon Libraries created the “Library
Arcade”, featuring two online games designed
to help students develop research skills through
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