Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
ies to ponder the expansion of their realm of
possibilities for user instruction through gaming.
One way to create games is to start by identifying
real-world uses or applications of the knowledge
to be taught, searching for situations that are nar-
ratively compelling and emotionally engaging, in
which information is necessary to solve complex
problems in simulated environments. It would
also be advisable to add challenges to motivate
the players, increase complexity to stimulate
improvement, and provide adequate feedback by
matching choice opportunities and consequences.
It is possible to conceive role-playing games
with pedagogical approaches such as goal-based
scenarios and case-based learning, which cast
students in roles where they solve complex prob-
lems. As for multiplayer games, an interesting
design should foster collaboration among players
in order to gather and share information. What is
essential is to envision games that enable joy of
use and work as both entertainment and learning
experiences. The interactive and immersive char-
acter of computer games makes possible a high
degree of involvedness, turning the player into an
active operator instead of a passive recipient of
experiences. Nevertheless, it would be interest-
ing to know if certain game genres lead to better
learning outcomes and, if so, to search for an
eventual association to learning styles, as well as
to information searching and processing habits.
Librarians involved in this kind of initiatives
should communicate and share experiences with
their peers. Together, they can find innovative
ways to integrate gaming on their services and
instigate other professionals interested in explor-
ing the potential of computer games to invest
themselves, take risks and establish partnerships
with other members of the academic community.
Another valid line of research would be to
study the attitudes of the academic community
(including teachers, students, and other librarians)
towards the use of computer games as learning
tools. Obviously, it would also be of great relevance
to investigate how students respond to these initia-
tives and understand if and how their information
literacy skills evolve. Libraries must not create
computer games merely to present themselves
as modern and trendy, but rather to adapt to the
interests and needs of one particular community
they serve. This requires, in the first place, a good
understanding of library's real and potential users,
and then careful consideration about the impact
of gaming on teaching and learning, as well as
on the acquisition and distribution of knowledge
and information. The aspects of gaming to be
included in information literacy programs should
be significant to the community and reflect on
services rendered by the library. The results of
subsequent surveys should be used to evaluate
those programs and readjust them when necessary.
A trend that deserves attention is the customiza-
tion of computer games. Gee (2003) approaches
the phenomenon of game players becoming game
designers, mentioning that many game companies
take advantage of it to ensure, through creativity,
their survival in a competitive market. Sometimes,
the companies provide free software players can
use (often working in groups over the Internet)
to create something new. Myers (2008) supports
this idea for educational purposes, mentioning
that inventing and experimenting with materials,
rather than simply interacting with them, provide
the best learning experiences. The author adds that
“by allowing kids to design their own computer
games, educators can facilitate deeper learning
and promote the acquisition of literacies that will
be crucial to success in tomorrow's professional
and social environments” (p. 55).
Librarians who plan on creating computer
games should eventually decide whether or not
they will accept library users as collaborators on
the process of game development. The possibility
of players becoming creators strongly resembles
what happens in the Web 2.0 world, where the
distinction between information producers and
consumers is blurred. In fact, both game cultures
and the Web 2.0 draw upon collective intelligence
and require people to navigate through multiple
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