GameRT (Games and Gaming Round Table) RoundTable
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 (email@example.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.
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.
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!
Green Bay’s Board-Game Obsession: Competitive Juices Fuel Lengthy Rounds of ‘Settlers of Catan’ Among Packers’ Playersby Jenny Levine (staff) on Fri, Jan 16, 2015 at 12:00 pm
Marketing help for games and gaming!
Anyone else know celebrities (besides Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day) who are big gamers?
"'When the average person sees the Packers doing it, it becomes a safe thing. That it's not the kids in mom's basement anymore,' Fuge said.
The Packers' embrace of the game become such a phenomenon that the store put a sign up that said 'Be cool like Justin Perillo, play Catan!'"
Another big announcement for ALA Annual. The GameRT will be hosting a Gaming Lounge at ALA Annual in San Francisco. This will be a large 20x20 space on the exhibit floor that will be open to attendees all conference long while the exhibit floor is open. The space will feature open gaming, scheduled demo games from game publishers attending annual and sharing time from librarians exploring and using games in their library spaces.
Currently we will have scheduled gaming demos from:
- Fantasy Flight Games
- Academy Games
- Paizo Publishing
We will also have open game play available during the exhibit floor hours. Stop in and play games from the huge library of games in the GameRT's collection of games.
Lastly, Saturday and Sunday for one hour each day, we will have sharing times in which librarians can sign up to present and share with conference attendees their experience and expertise using games and play in their library spaces. This can be in any format desired (poster, tech, hands on... etc).
We are very excited for this space. It presents an opportunity to create a hands-on interactive space for conference attendees to explore game resources, interact with publishers and learn from great gaming programs.
If you are interested in being a part of the Gaming Lounge, either as a helper manning the space (checking out games and being a game shepherd) or if you would like to present during one of the two sharing slots, please get in touch with me.
Each year at Annual, the Games and Gaming Roundtable puts together an evening of Open Gaming and discovery that is ALAPlay. This year is going to be another fantastic year!
Apart from the open play of the GameRT's library of games, we will have special events and industry guests with us.
Fantasy Flight Games, Academy Games and Paizo Publishing will be there, demoing games.
I will be bringing a GIANT 8'x4' version of my board game: Freedom: The Underground Railroad.
We will also be running an Unpub event. This will be an open invitation for attending librarians to bring in unpublished games to share and get feedback from players at the event. We will also be giving prizes to the top rated games from the event.
- If you are interested in bringing in a design, please shoot me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) so I have an idea of the number of games that will be coming and I can make sure to set aside enough table space.
- We are also looking for game shepherd to help people find and learn games during ALAPlay. We have a great list of games in our library and our adding more each year. We also welcome people who would like to bring along their own games to teach as well!
If you are interested in helping or participating in any way, please get in touch with me (email@example.com).
Digital Citizenship in Minecraft: Serious Gaming in the Library, presented by Valerie Hill, PhD
Because students spend much time in global participatory digital culture, on mobile devices, the need for digital citizenship and 21st century learning standards has become critical. Understanding personal responsibility for evaluation of content, ethical online behavior, and cyber-safety are just a few examples. For this project, a school librarian shared Common Sense Media resources and the AASL Standards for the 21st Century Learner with elementary school students. Elements of digital citizenship were aligned in a Minecraft 3D library designed and built by fifth graders. Questions developed by the project team of fifth graders sent younger students on a journey through the 3D world with a digital citizenship crown prize as the final goal. With 110 million children registered in 2014, Minecraft is one of the most popular videogames in the world (Kzero, 2014). Many students are already familiar with the Minecraft interface and embedding information literacy elements is a natural extension for school libraries.
Small Boxes and Big Fun: Starting a Board Gaming Collection, presented by John Pappas
Board gaming is entering a golden age with wonderfully crafted games coming out daily by board game publishers large and small, as well as from individual designers. This leads to a large amount of diversity and choice in the board games space when trying to develop a circulating board game collection or choosing which games to include in a gaming group. This talk will discuss the basics of organizing a modern board game group (any ages) including tips on moderating, teaching, and promoting the group while providing a welcoming and safe space for new and emerging gamers. Additionally, the mechanics (the inner workings of the games), genres, and the themes of games will be reviewed and discussed. The talk will end in a presentation of a starter kit of inexpensive and fun board games which will get your library's collection started for less than $150. The cost of getting into the board gaming hobby does not have to be prohibitive if the right games are purchased and the proper partnerships fostered.