There is a debate on the LibGaming discussion group about ways gamers are learning to be creative and innovative, and what skills they gain from gameplay. John Scalzo, the Video Game Librarian, says, “I don’t think tomorrow’s Bill Gates is going to find much inspiration from playing World of Warcraft today.”
Certainly, there are skills relevant to the business world and technology field that can be learned from gameplay. The transference of skills is touted in everything from Beck & Wade’s book Got Game to articles in Harvard Business Review to a IBM study for IBM by the software company Seriosity.
What if it’s not enough to just drop tools and access to resources in patrons laps? Is our role as librarians not simply to facilitate gaming programs, but to facilitate learning how to design games?
On a related note, this month’s American Libraries features an article by Brian Myers titled “Minds At Play,” about a library offering game design workshops that utilize Scratch, a free program with a drag and drop, graphical interface.
MIT, where Scratch was created, will be hosting a 3 day symposium this fall for educators, researchers and developers about using Scratch. Both lecture and hands-on sessions will be offered. Registration is $250, details are online at http://scratch.mit.edu/conference/index.html