Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
teaching material available online. Games that
are downloadable or browser-based can be played
not only in the library, during instruction classes,
but also on any computer connected to the Web,
as informal educational tools. If games present
challenges relevant to issues students face, the
intrinsic motivation and the exploratory frame of
mind gamers exhibit when playing can optimize
the learning experience.
The online availability of computer games is of
particular relevance considering academic librar-
ies are increasingly requested to transcend their
physical space in order to bring their resources
and services to every student, reaching all spaces
where the learning process can take place. This
require librarians to accept a transition from formal
to informal learning spaces, a shift from classes to
personalized learning opportunities, and a change
from restrictive and constructed learning activities
to creative and extended learning opportunities
(O'Connell, 2008).
Many librarians have a conservative perspec-
tive on literacy, associating it to reading and writ-
ing skills, so they fear that promoting computer
games will drive students even further away from
book reading and its cultural affordances. Perhaps
those librarians do not possess yet for computer
games a frame of reference equivalent to the one
they already developed for the presence of other
resources, like CDs and DVDs, in libraries. How-
ever, considering the development of complex
and engaging storylines, together with the artistry
behind computer games, Easterwood and Wesson
(2009) propose their popularity can be explored,
so that librarians connect gamers to topics. Novels
and plays provide narratives and plots that are
culturally engaging, and in many ways digital
games, due to their embedded storytelling, are a
more recent form of fiction.
By examining different genres of computer
games and identifying their features and the kind of
topics their fans may respond to, librarians have a
great opportunity to act as readers' advisors, match-
ing gamers with topics and promoting reading.
For example, fans of strategy games that require
good problem-solving skills, mental engagement
and creativity will probably enjoy reading mystery
novels; people who prefer action games could be
directed towards topics with as much immediacy
as possible, grippingly turbulent plots, and first-
person narration; those who favor role-playing
games or adventure games that revolve around
a quest and combine action with puzzle solving
might like fantasy and science fiction topics.
Non-gamers may find difficult to apprehend
all the nuances, but a basic knowledge of a few
key genres like the ones mentioned above would
be valuable in order to better communicate with
gamers, learn what appeals to them and understand
key elements in a game that allow its pairing with
a book. Reading reviews, becoming acquainted
with computer games, and analyzing them in
terms of plot, characters and required skills could
be a good start.
Communication and collaboration between
game designers and library professionals involved
in teaching information literacy is also crucial.
Although librarians might not possess the skills
to create digital games themselves, they need to
learn the fundamentals of contemporary game
design in order to communicate effectively with
designers and therefore safeguard the success of
their initiatives.
Johnson (2006) suggests there are three factors that
impact on libraries' survival and opportunities to
thrive: the growing digitalization and portability of
information, the fundamental changes in the nature
and sources of information, and the critical need
for new skills for workers in a global economy.
All these changes can be directly related to
information literacy. This fact, together with a
new understanding of the benefits of playing
computer games, has led many academic librar-
Search Nedrilad ::

Custom Search