Archive for April, 2008

LA Times Article on Gaming in Libraries

Saturday, April 19th, 2008

 “Libraries are about providing public access to resources, in whatever format,” [Loriene Roy] said. “It goes back to what people want.”

The article covers example of gaming in Los Angeles county, but may serve as a resource for those seeking ways to convince their staff, administrators or community that gaming has a valid place in today’s libraries.

Link: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-libraries17apr17,1,298077,full.story 

Gaming in School Libraries – AASL Standards Aligned

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

The member librarians of the School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES have aligned the new American Association of School Librarians (AASL) Standards for the 21st-Century Learner with gaming. The alignment, available online at the newly launched GVBOCES gaming site, provides links between 46 of the AASL standards and gaming skills. For example:

AASL Standard 1.2.7: Display persistence by continuing to pursue information to gain a broad perspectve.

Gaming Alignment: Even when game elements seem impossible to defeat, persistence and adaptability can lead to new knowledge and the creation of a successful strategy.

Download the AASL Standards and the Gaming Alignment for the full connection.

Debut of Games in Libraries Podcast!

Tuesday, April 15th, 2008

<drum roll>

Introducing… the very first episode of … Games in Libraries!

<\drum roll>

Games in Libraries is a new podcast about, well, games, gaming, and gamers in libraries, produced and hosted by Scott Nicholson, associate professor at Syracuse’s School of Information Studies (and LIS program director) and chief scientist at Library GameLab of Syracuse. Current contributers include Kelly Czarnecki, Technology Education Librarian at Imaginon in NC; Beth Gallaway, independent library trainer/consultant at Information Goddess Consulting in NH; Christopher Harris, coordinator of school libraries in Genesee Valley BOCES in NY and Eli Neiburger, gamer, dad, and Manager of Information Access & Systems at Ann Arbor District Library.

Episode 0 is an introduction to the contributors, and will evolve as new contributors are added.

Episode 1 contains:

Give a listen at www.gamesinlibraries.org/, or subscribe at feeds.feedburner.com/GamesInLibraries

New contributors welcome! Contact Scott Nicholson for more information

What did you think of episodes 0 & 1?

Simultaneous Board Game Play: "Ticket to Ride!"

Monday, April 14th, 2008

April 13-19 2008 is National Library Week, and Friday April 18th is “gaming @ your library day.”

As one part of that day, the Games and Gaming Members Initiative Group (MIG) and the ALA are encouraging people across the country to play the same board game at the same time: “Ticket to Ride”, at 7PM Eastern/6PM Central/5PM Mountain/4PM Pacific. Designed by Alan R. Moon, and published by Days of Wonder, “Ticket to Ride” is an excellent example of the new generation of board games.

The goals of this event are to:

  • Raise awareness about the use of games as a library program
  • Expose people to a new type of board game
  • Establish connections between local board game groups and the library

To Libraries:

Seek out your local board game groups for assistance. Members of that group probably already haveTicket to Ride,” but if you need to order a copy, the publisher, Days of Wonder, is discounting the game to libraries.

Ticket to Ride

One of the best ways to locate a local board game group is through the site BoardGameGeek.com, the largest community site for board gamers. The list of groups can be found at www.boardgamegeek.com/wiki/page/Game_Clubs. We encourage you to contact your local game group and invite interested members to the library to help host the April 18th board game event. Assistance from board gamers will help you run multiple Ticket to Ride games at the appropriate time. Please document the event with pictures and collect contact information from participants so you can let them know about future events. You can learn how to play Ticket to Ride at www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=19.

Librarians with questions should contact Jenny Levine at jlevine@ala.org. More information is available at gaming.ala.org/resources/.

To Board Game Groups:

Go to your local library with this information and find out if they’re participating in gaming @ your library on Friday, April 18th. If the library staff isn’t aware of game day, offer to host a board game event on April. The goal is to have many copies of Ticket to Ride played at the same time and to have some documentation of the event. Your participation in this one-day activity can lead to future board game events at the library as well.

Board Game groups with questions should contact Scott Nicholson at scott@scottnicholson.com.

After the event, please visit gaming.ala.org/resources/ to report on your success and to find instructions for sharing your pictures with the gaming @ your library Flickr group!

Playing Ticket to Ride: 

I played the US version of “Ticket to Ride” on Sunday night at the Computers & Libraries conference and I’m hooked on this “gateway game” to modern board gaming. No dice involved, just strategizing, drawing cards, and placing train cars.

Game play starts with players selecting colored trains (red, blue, green, yellow or black) to represent their play. Railway lines are represented by chains of gray and colored train-sized sections on the gameboard. Colored cards (pink, white, red, orange, yellow green, blue & black)  are shuffled. Five color cards are pulled and  placed face up, next to a draw deck. Players selecting 3 Tickets to Ride from destination A to destination B. A point value is assigned to each route. Keep those routes a secret!

Next, players are dealt 4 color cards. These cards are turned in when placing trains, as players build routes from city to city along color-coded lines. One must fill an entire segment of the route (anywhere from 1-6 train cars). Some routes are gray, and any colors may be played on those segments, as long as all the cards are the same color. THere is no penalty for indirect routes; a special bonus of 10 points is awarded to the player with the longest consecutive train.

On each turn, a player may opt to:

  1. Pick up two new color cards (only 1, if a Wild Card is selected from the face up cards)
  2. Turn in color cards and place trains
  3. Pick a new Ticket to Ride, keeping at least one Ticket, and discaring any unwanted  Tickets

Scoring is based on number of trains placed, and number of Tickets to Ride completed. The perimeter of the board is numbered consecutively from 0-99, making it easy to stop mid-game and return at a later time – colored markers placed on the border are a visual indication of each player’s score.

A typical round of the game takes anywhere from 30-45 minutes. Strategies include filling up single rail destinations. Two to five players may compete individually, or in teams. Christopher Harris told our table that when he told students, no, they couldn’t play in teams, they challenged this decision, telling him, “but that’s what the robber barons did!”

In addition to reinforcing US history, the game is a practical application of North American geography and simple addition. Other versions of the game cover geography of Europe, Germany & Switzerland. A non-board (cards only!) version of the game is in development, and should beavailable in May 2008.

Because it was a new game for most of us, game play was slow to catch on – as players left to try other video & card games, those of us left at the table very quickly realized we were already comfortable enough and savvy enoughtabout the game to teach it to new, drop in players who simply resumed play with someone else’s hand

On Friday, April 18, I’m going to be at a library in MA, facilitiating a DDR Tournament, but Ticket to Ride will be one of the games I have on hand as an alternative for those who need a break from the dancing.

For more information about how to play “Ticket to Ride,” see Scott Nicholson’s video tutorial at Board Games with Scott at www.boardgameswithscott.com/?p=19

To purchase “Ticket to Ride,” visit the Days of Wonder website at www.daysofwonder.com/tickettoride/en/

Try “Ticket to Ride” online at www.daysofwonder.com/tickettoride/en/content/online/

ALA Presidential Citations on Gaming Available

Tuesday, April 1st, 2008

ALA President Loriene Roy is giving out presidential citations to libraries that use games and gaming as tools for learning, literacy development and community development.

Nominate YOUR program at:

http://creator.zoho.com/olos/2008-presidential-gaming-citations/form/1/

Applications must be submitted by April 21.

From the form:

“Here’s your chance to shine the spotlight on your library or your colleagues! This unique, one-time citation recognizes libraries and librarians of all kinds using games and gaming as tools for learning, literacy development and community development.

Just choose a category – recreation, education, or innovation – describe the program, initiative, or collaboration, and tell us why your nominee deserves to receive an ALA Presidential Citation.

  • Nominations will be accepted from Monday, January 14, 2008 through Monday, April 21, 2008.
  • Nominations will be reviewed by a panel of experts from the library field, the gaming industry, academia, and philanthropy.
  • The winners will be announced at the 2008 ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim.
  • Dr. Loriene Roy, ALA’s 2007-2008 president, will present the citations ALA’s first open gaming night at the 2008 Annual Conference.

Winners of the 2008 Presidential Citation will receive a certificate and be featured on ALA’s gaming website.  Self nominations are strongly encouraged.”