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Discussion 2016 ALA Annual GameRT Pre-Conference - More than a collection: encouraging creation using games

by Matthew Murray on Wed, Feb 10, 2016 at 01:29 pm

        Friday, June 24th, 2016, 9am to 4pm 

Hosted by Brian Mayer, Diane Robson, and Teresa Slobuski

 The Games and Gaming Round Table would like to invite you to join us for an exciting pre-conference workshop about game design.

        Friday, June 24th, 2016, 9am to 4pm 

Hosted by Brian Mayer, Diane Robson, and Teresa Slobuski

 The Games and Gaming Round Table would like to invite you to join us for an exciting pre-conference workshop about game design.

During this full-day session participants will be guided through the game design process, exploring analog game design and its applications to digital design as well. The goal with an analog design approach is to focus on the concepts and skills, leaving the design to arts and crafts. Analog game design allows programs to focus on a number of areas including: inquiry, problem solving, aesthetics, audience, design, computational thinking, and the integration of curricular content and skills; all without the barriers of learning a tool. Once the fundamentals of good design approach have been practiced, they can then be applied in a more technical setting, introducing tools and programs.

Participants will be introduced to basic game design concepts, human-centered design, prototyping, and effective playtesting. This GameRT preconference can jump start your move from content users to content creators at your library.

See http://2016.alaannual.org/ticketed-events for details.

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Discussion GameRT call for proposals for ALA Annual 2016

by Matthew Murray on Wed, Dec 16, 2015 at 12:58 pm

Hey all,

The Games and Gaming Roundtable is accepting conference presentation proposals on games and gaming in libraries for the American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-28, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. This presentation will take place on Saturday, June 25th from 3-4pm. Presenters will be required to provide either a twenty-minute presentation with Q & A or an hour-long hands on workshop. 

Hey all,

The Games and Gaming Roundtable is accepting conference presentation proposals on games and gaming in libraries for the American Library Association Annual Conference, June 23-28, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. This presentation will take place on Saturday, June 25th from 3-4pm. Presenters will be required to provide either a twenty-minute presentation with Q & A or an hour-long hands on workshop. 

Proposals are due February 1st, 2016.
 
Please include your name, email address, the title of your proposal, a short description and a 200 word abstract of your proposal. If you have previously submitted a proposal to a GameRT program but were not accepted, we highly encourage you to re-submit for this event.
 
All proposals, and any questions you may have, can be sent to thematthewmurray@gmail.com.

 

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Discussion GAME: Gaming As Meaningful Education - a GameRT/AASL event

by Christopher Harris on Fri, Jan 8, 2016 at 06:54 am

It's on! AASL (school librarians division) and GameRT are co-sponsoring the AASL National Gorum this fall on gaming and learning. The event will be held September 23-24 in Rochester, NY including  wonderful evening at The Strong National Museum of Play. I am very excited to be co-chairing the conference planning committee and will be outting out requests for additional committee members as planning moves forward. 

It's on! AASL (school librarians division) and GameRT are co-sponsoring the AASL National Gorum this fall on gaming and learning. The event will be held September 23-24 in Rochester, NY including  wonderful evening at The Strong National Museum of Play. I am very excited to be co-chairing the conference planning committee and will be outting out requests for additional committee members as planning moves forward. 

Some of you will recall the incredible ALA Gaming Learning and Libraries symposia that were held a number of years ago. This event will hopefully offer an opportunity for GameRT to explore options for reviving a small gathering around gaming in libraries as a more regular happening. For now I am just excited that GameRT is involved as a co-sponsor for this event and that Game-RT members will receive he same registration discounts as AASL members. 

More info coming soon at www.ala.org/AASL/game

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Discussion Newsletter - Yes

by Christopher Harris on Fri, Jul 17, 2015 at 09:54 am

Hello all, 

Just an update to say that the newsletter is coming...but not today. In order to ensure that we do this right the first time, following ALA procedures and working within established systems to create a newsletter with long-term viability, it will take a bit longer. 

Right now, we are working with Production Services to have a template created in the ALA email system. That should be done in not too long. The content will then be loaded and emails sent. 

Thank you for your patience,

Chris

Discussion Games in School Libraries - TV News Coverage

by Christopher Harris on Thu, Sep 17, 2015 at 07:20 am

A nice news report out of Morgantown, WV about a high school class using Freedom: The Underground Railroad in the library to learn about slavery and the abolition movement. Freedom was designed by none other than our GameRT Vice-President, Brian Mayer. A great example of libraries hosting games for learning, but also of a librarian who became an author of a game that supports learning. 

https://www.facebook.com/AcademyGames/posts/907017849351996

Discussion Notes from GenCon

by Christopher Harris on Fri, Jul 31, 2015 at 09:21 am

Hello from GenCon, where about 60,000 dedicated fans of (mainly) tabletop gaming have gathered in Indianapolis, IN for four days of gaming bliss. My GenCon actually began a day early with Trade Day, a series of workshops for retailers as well as educators and librarians. Librarians were well represented this year, with great presentations from Orion Township (MI) Public Library and librarians from the Indianapolis Public Library.

Hello from GenCon, where about 60,000 dedicated fans of (mainly) tabletop gaming have gathered in Indianapolis, IN for four days of gaming bliss. My GenCon actually began a day early with Trade Day, a series of workshops for retailers as well as educators and librarians. Librarians were well represented this year, with great presentations from Orion Township (MI) Public Library and librarians from the Indianapolis Public Library. They talked about setting up game programs and working with school libraries to support common gaming projects. I presented on trade day as well about my Teaching Through Games series of books and the work that Brian Mayer (Vice-President of the GameRT) and I are doing on Play Play Learn. You can see my slides and handouts at playplaylearn.com/gencon.

The other big part of Trade Day is an evening showcase where publishers demonstrate their new games. A great way to see what is coming in a smaller venue with a chance to ask more questions than on the floor. There were a number of great games I played that evening, but a standout for libraries was Medieval Academy (IELLO Games). This game is fascinating and a bit unique in that it makes use of six double sided boards that can be flipped from an easy side to an advanced side to modify the level of difficulty. This means a library can purchase one game, learn to teach one game, and have many different levels of game support in a single box. A great way to differentiate on the fly to support different levels of players. 

Another hot pickup from the floor is Codenames (Czech Games Edition). In this game, players are trying to clue in their teammates to the identity of secret agents using carefully selected, single word hints as to the codenames of the agents along with the number of agents the player thinks his team will identify from the clue. Be careful, though, selection of an innocent bystander card or an agent from the opposite team ends your turn. Even worse, each round has a single assassin card that will result in an immediate loss if selected. Great twist to a hint-based word game. 

Sticking with word games, another very interesting find was SHH (Perplext). This micro-sized game – think a pack of stick gum sized – is part of the publisher's new Pack-o-Game series. These quick-to-learn and quick-to-play games use different mechanisms ranging from pick up and deliver to auction to dexterity. SHH is a cooperative word game where the players are working together, silently, to develop words that use every letter of the alphabet. Vowels are placed in the center of the table, and the players take turns playing out either a consonant from their hands or a vowel from the middle. If a word is formed and no new letters can be added by the active player, she or he indicates concession with a thumbs up. But remember...no talking! Lots of fun in a very small package though I hope there might be a larger release for more general use in schools and libraries. 

Now I must steel myself for another foray onto the floor; things are a bit louder and more chaotic than the ALA floor. More updates and games to come. If you have anything you want me to check out and report back about, please drop a comment here or send me an email at chris@playplaylearn.com.

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Discussion Hello from incoming President

by Christopher Harris on Tue, Jun 30, 2015 at 10:59 am

Hello GameRT members,

As ALA Annual 2015 wraps up and my term as President of the GameRT begins I wanted to send out a quick introduction to everyone along with a promise of future communications.

Hello GameRT members,

As ALA Annual 2015 wraps up and my term as President of the GameRT begins I wanted to send out a quick introduction to everyone along with a promise of future communications.

First, I want to be sure that we all pause to recognize the incredible efforts of Diane Robson in her three-year tenure as President of the RT. Diane remained dedicated through a comedy of circumstances that placed her into a triple term of leadership. I am incredibly grateful that even though some rest would be well-deserved and fully understood, Diane is continuing to work on IGD and other programs for the RT. Leaders like Diane who give selflessly of their time and energy are the only way that membership organizations like ALA can thrive. At the board meeting, we recognized her for her work and gave her an entirely inadequate gift of some very nice candles. I wanted to share this with the larger RT in the hopes that you would join me in thanking Diane for everything she has done and continues to do for all of us!

A little bit about me: I am the Director of the School Library System for the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, an educational services agency (BOCES) in Western New York between Rochester and Buffalo. We serve the school libraries of 22 small, rural school districts with a total student population of about 20,000.  Working alongside my amazing colleague (and the new VP of the GameRT) Brian Mayer, we have coordinated a game library for the Genesee Valley SLS since about 2007. More recently I have started an external venture, Play Play Learn, to help spread the good word about board games in libraries and classrooms. To help share the successes we have seen, I also wrote a series of books on Teaching Through Games published earlier this year by Rosen Publishing. 

Over the next couple weeks, I will be gathering reports from the various committees and programs of the RT to share out with members via an upcoming newsletter. GameRT had an amazing conference, and there is a great deal for us to celebrate! ALAPlay was huge, especially the new UnPub (un-published games brought in by designers/authors to share and gain feedback) organized by Brian. The booth, along with our two guest publishers, was a hopping place daily and the gaming lounge tables were consistently busy. Programming was a huge hit as well...stay tuned for executive summaries and handouts. 

This upcoming newsletter will be the first of a quarterly publication from GameRT to help you, the members, stay up on new programs, resources, and ideas around gaming in libraries. If you have a library program, favorite game, best practice recommendation, or anything else you want to share in the newsletter, please let me know (chris@playplaylearn.com). I am happy to help with editing. The current plan is to publish a newsletter following Annual and Midwinter as well as two smaller update issues in between the conferences to maintain communication. 

Thank you for your membership, and whatever level of volunteer support you are able to contribute to the success of this RT. Our membership numbers continue to grow – even as some other RTs decline. Please do let me know what I can do in my year of member-leadership to help meet your needs and advance the mission of the RT. 

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Event Beyond the Game Night (GameRT)

by ALAConnect Helpdesk (staff) on Mon, Jun 8, 2015 at 11:31 am

Beyond the Game Night: The Library as a Hub of Campus Community and Collaboration by Shannon L. Farrell, Amy E. Neeser, and Carolyn Bishoff

Models for gaming services in academic libraries focus on two areas: collections and undergraduate events. These models fell short when applied to our environment so we adapted our approach to reflect the needs of our campus community.

Beyond the Game Night: The Library as a Hub of Campus Community and Collaboration by Shannon L. Farrell, Amy E. Neeser, and Carolyn Bishoff

Models for gaming services in academic libraries focus on two areas: collections and undergraduate events. These models fell short when applied to our environment so we adapted our approach to reflect the needs of our campus community.

The University of Minnesota Libraries launched a grassroots forum for staff interested in video games that hosted three events and attempted to kickstart a small lending collection. These efforts resulted in spectacular failure, and helped us develop new programming that positioned the Libraries as a hub for gaming communities throughout campus. We are building connections between students, researchers, and the public, and will discuss the following programs:

* Co-hosting “Co-Op Talk,” a monthly student discussion group
* Partnering with a STEM student group on an Oculus Rift sandbox event
* Hosting a gaming research showcase for faculty, staff, and students
* Co-sponsoring a “Games, Gender and Identity” event with the UMN Institute for Advanced Study
* Creating an interactive gaming installation for a city-wide art festival

Our outreach has led to valuable partnerships across campus and increased awareness of the value of games and gaming. We suspect our experiences are not unique, and want to add these insights to the existing conversation on gaming in libraries.

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Discussion GameRT Events at Annual

by Brian Mayer on Wed, May 27, 2015 at 10:38 am

Hi Everyone

There are some fantastic game related events planned for annual in San Fran this year. I have attached a flyer with many of the events. The GameRT has a booth again this year (BOOTH 207), with Fantasy Flight Games and Academy Games as our booth guests. Plus, we have the Gaming Lounge this year, where we will have open gaming, demo events and a sharing session from librarians doing great gaming programs.

Not everything related made it to the sheet. I will be running two sessions of a giant 8 foot version of my game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad

Hi Everyone

There are some fantastic game related events planned for annual in San Fran this year. I have attached a flyer with many of the events. The GameRT has a booth again this year (BOOTH 207), with Fantasy Flight Games and Academy Games as our booth guests. Plus, we have the Gaming Lounge this year, where we will have open gaming, demo events and a sharing session from librarians doing great gaming programs.

Not everything related made it to the sheet. I will be running two sessions of a giant 8 foot version of my game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad

Chris Harris will be doing a talk on the Gaming and Graphics Novel Stage on his book series Teaching through Games from Rosen Publishing:

Lastly, Game and Learn RT's will be doing a joint session on gaming and training:

Thanks and I hope to see a lot of you there!

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Discussion Final Call for Librarians to Share at the Gaming Lounge at ALA Annual

by Brian Mayer on Fri, May 15, 2015 at 08:16 am

If you are a librarian who uses games, design and play in your library, now is your chance to share that knowledge at ALA Annual. GameRT Lounge Sharing Sessions are hour long sessions for you to not only share your ideas with your peers but help educate and excite librarians new to games and gaming in libraries. Now is your chance to shine! If you are interested, please reply here or get in touch with Brian Mayer at: bmayer@gvboces.org

Thanks!

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The mission of the Games and Gaming Round Table is to provide the following:

  • A forum for the exchange of ideas and concerns surrounding games in libraries;
  • Resources to the library community to support the building and maintaining of library game collections;
  • A force for initiating and supporting game programming in libraries;
  • Create an awareness of, and need for, the support of the value of gaming and play in libraries, schools, and related learning communities.
  • Create an awareness of the value of games and gaming in library outreach and community engagement plans.
  • A professional and social forum for networking among librarians and non-librarians interested in games and gaming.

Send an email to the GameRT Connect group by sending it to inbox+gamert@connect.ala.org.

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