I just had a revelation while watching Jane McGonigal’s TED talk that gaming really, actually IS the future of education. She convinced me, and I am not easily convinced. In my mind I saw a confluence of ideas – how rewards, games, levelling up – as it meets education can really change everything. This is not about libraries just checking out Wii games. This is about designing games that relate to learning objectives.
I first heard about Jane McGonigal because of her amazing incredible work at the New York Public Library and the game: Find the Future. If you are a librarian, I highly recommend that you take a look at this work and try to implement something similar at your institution. http://game.nypl.org/#/
I also highly recommend watching this video. She is convincing, even if you are not a gamer, and I am not a gamer! I am becoming one though. I am learning how engaging it is. Something she mentions is that in the game world we are free of getting jaded, and all of those other things that make us feel down about the world around us. We are being drawn to virtual worlds.
If you are thinking Monopoly – you’re on the wrong track. There are so many amazing games out there – virtual and online or not. If you are in Boise, check out the store All About Games in downtown on 8th Street. There are incredible games there – really, really fun games. I like thinking about games and libraries and how the two intersect. I know that they do, it’s just a matter of how, and how would they work at your library.