A poor time slot and multiple Marriott hotels made for slim attendance at the Teen Gaming Interest Group Meeting Saturday afternoon.
Kelly Czarnecki, co-convener, welcomed the attendees, noting that the Gaming Discussion Group (which has evolved to an Interest Group) is a year old! Our agenda included a visit from Matt Gullett, Imaginon, and Scott Nicholson, Syracuse University, to talk about Game Lab.
We intended to elect conveners, but with only 8 attendees, decided to do it online. Interested candidates should send a short blurb (under 250 words) about why they want to be the convener NO LATER THAN June 26. We’ll elect via a Survey Monkey poll. Polls will close at 11 PM EST on June 230, as YALSA needs to be informed of the names of conveners by July 1 2007.
Currently in the running for the convener position in alphabetical order, are:
* Kelly Czarnecki
* Beth Gallaway
* Beth Saxton
* Jami Schwarzwalder
Our final agenda item was to work on 2008 program. We decided to rename it “Gaming Beyond Tournaments.” The focus is programs that are related to gaming or have appeal to gamers but don’t involve actually playing games. Got a great program to share? Want to speak? Available Sunday June 23 at 8AM in Anaheim CA? I’d love to hear from you: informationgoddess29 AT gmail DOT com
About Game Lab at PLCMC:
Matt, a gamer since age 4. Started doing gaming in 2005, and has started a Game Lab at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenberg County. Matt wanted to replicate the GameLab at Syracuse with a public library spin. Their Game Lab has three key focuses:
2. Content Creation
The GameLab is trying to show that games are an important part of digital literacy. Games and interactive media are a public good. It’s not just a room for people to come in and play games whenever they want t; it’s to develop partnership with local schools, colleges and universities and library oriented LIS programs to develop programming and rationale for gaming and libraries. Partnerships with businesses are also a potential – working with game companies to see product development. Working with The Youth Digital Arts Cyber School is another potential partner, a Las Vegas company that offers online classes in Game Design. It’s not just about playing the games it’s about making them too. Introducing gamers to the tools to enable them to do content creation.
GameLab is not limited to video games! Card, board, miniatures, it’s all good. The space is an office that can be a flexible space; much of the content will be portable, and use will be dictated by projects like beta testing or a board game event.
The Science Museum of Minnesota has instructors who are using the free game design software Scratch (from MIT) to teach a class at the Hennepin County library called be a computer game designer. “The teens didn’t really realize how much math they were using because they were having so much fun with it.” The Museum charged, but a training the trainer program for teens to continue as instructors is under investigation.
Kelly cited that her goal was to start at the beginning, with GameMaker, but kids wanted to start where they were comfortable (a very gamer mentality).
Someone suggested the flash drive option: when you have a restrictive environment and can’t install programs, putting an installed program on a flash drive may be an option. Used web-based game design tools are another alternative. Some resources: http://www.cs.queensu.ca/~dalamb/Games/design/gameDesignSites.html
About GameLab at Syracuse
Scott Nicholson, Associate Professor at Syracuse University, told us that the Information Institute at Syracuse is handling GameLab, thanks to a half-million dollar IMLS grant . Both OCLC and ALA TechSource are partners.
GameLab at Syracuse involves four research projects:
1. Creating a thesaurus for all types of games
2. Using economics as a way of looking at the public good regarding recreational gaming; if appropriate is the library the right place to do it
3. Get a better idea of idea of penetration of games in libraries
4. Create a gaming census
The outcome will be figuring out what type of games are successful in a specific environments for specific populations, with a range of options – like a portable games kit. Different games appeal to different people for different reasons. Scott continued to challenge us to think about goals of your gaming program. “A great game for the wrong crowd leads to a bad user experience. We need a game sommelier, if you will…”
Some program sharing ensued: anime prom, Runescape LAN parties, and teen run video game nights were just a few great ideas. We also learned that ALSC’s Children and Technology committee has submitted a to run a technology program in Anaheim which may or may not include gaming – watch for more details to come.
Other questions we discussed:
Where do you get the money? Where do you buy games from? and Who has a Wii?
A reminder about three other upcoming gaming events of interest:
* ALA TechSource Gaming in Libraries Symposium, July 22-24, Chicago O’Hare Marriott
* Gaming in Libraries, a 3 credit class at Syracuse University in spring 2008 over 3 weekends, will focus on the history of games, games as a new media, and experiencing and evaluating a variety of games.
* Wallenberg Hall Summer Institute on Gaming in Education at Stanford University, August 6-10
Thanks to all attendees and contributors!
EDIT: OH! And don’t forget to contribute to our list of 50 recommended games on the YALSA wiki at http://wikis.ala.org/yalsa/index.php/Gaming_Lists_%26_Activities
EDIT: Correct link for The Youth Digital Arts Cyber School is http://www.ydacs.com.