Get Your Game on at ALA!

Wow, there are almost enough activities for a whole gaming TRACK at ALA! Sessions and Events are listed on the ALA Conference Wiki; here’s what I added to my Event Planner:

I love starting conference with a low-key social event, and here’s a free one! On Friday June 27 from 7:30-10:30pm, ALA hosts Open Gaming Night sponsored by the Verizon Foundation at the Hilton Anaheim – Disneyland Hotel. Games include Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution, Boom Blox, Mario Kart Wii, and Wii Sports. Free food, and prizes for high scores, this is going to be a hot spot. I wonder if they’ll have board games too.

Saturday June 28 marks the start of the Big Game, California Dreaming. I’ve read Steinbeck, visited a dozen different towns in CA through my work with Infopeople, and listened to the Beach Boys, but I’m notoriously bad at trivia. I might have poor recall, but my Google Fu is pretty good. Hopefully, it will come in handy for California Dreaming.  It’s like a conference-wide scavenger hunt to test your information-seeking skills and problem solving abilities, with clues to decipher dropping from sessions, events, exhibitors… Maybe I better hook up with a team, instead of going it alone. I hear prizes will be awarded, from Cartoon Network, Electronic Arts & more! After the Exhibit Hall opens at 9:00am on Saturday morning, I’ll be making a beeline for the new Games Pavilion. This pavilion will group gaming industry suppliers in one specific area of the exhibit floor making it convenient for attendees to find your products and services for your library. The Games Pavilion will feature board games, electronic platform companies, furniture, and electronic games that can be used for curriculum-based teaching and recreation.

The first gaming program session is hosted by LAMA, on Saturday from 8:00-10:00am. At Are You in the Game? Harnessing Millennial Learning Strategies to Market (LAMA PRMS) at the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Center Ballroom, millennial learning strategies in terms of gaming and Second Life will be discussed by speakers who have worked with these technologies at Arizona State University and Fresno County Public Library. Participants will work on a sample idea in break-out groups. Hands-on is ALWAYS a good strategy for gamers!

Maybe there will be Big Game clues at the Games and Gaming Member Initiative Group (MIG) Meeting! It runs from 10:00am-noon on Saturday at the Sheraton Park Hotel Anaheim, Plaza A/B.

After lunch, I’m co-chairing the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group Meeting at the Disneyland Hotel, North Exhibit Hall, Meeting Room F from 1:30pm-3:30pm. A new convener of the group will be elected during this meeting by a show of hands vote. If you are interested, please attend; if you are not able to attend, but are interested, please email Beth Gallaway or Kelly Czarnecki and let us know and we will add your name to be voted on at the meeting. Review convener responsibilities and recommended meeting guidelines first! Anyone that shows up at the meeting, is a YALSA member, and supports the mission of the group, is eligible to be a convener. Other agenda topics include creating a publication for YALSA, sharing best practices and resources.

I’ll be up bright and early on Sunday for a panel discussion sponsored by the YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group on Beyond Video Game Tournaments. That’s at the Anaheim Marriott, Salon E from 8:00-10:00am. we know; it’s EARLY. By if you arrive by 8:15am, you can get a door prize entry slip to win either a copy of Multimedia Fusion, a copy of animation software (either Toon Boom Studio or Flip Boom or a t-shirt. (Thanks to Youth Digital Arts CyberSchool for donating!). At the session, you’ll discover best practices beyond gaming tournaments in such programs as avatar creation, character worksheets, video game clubs, machinima contests, Cosplay and more. Elizabeth Saxton, Cleveland Public Library; Craig Davis, Youth Digital Arts CyberSchool and Amy McNally, Ridgedale Library, Minnetonka, MN, with teens Karina Grimaldi and Brigit Boler, share their successes in delivering high quality engaging programs that go beyond game play to spark creativity and broader types of participation. The second half of the program consists of a breakout session to try program activities and exercises yourself. There will be door prizes available of the following software.
This is an ambitious program! If you are an early riser and would like to pass out/collect the slips for the door prizes please show up at the panel presentation at 8am and let us know! OR, If you are going to attend the session and want to contribute a non-gaming activity to run in the second half or donate use of your laptop for game testing, please let Beth Gallaway or Kelly Czarnecki know.

My next session is right at the same hotel, the Anaheim Marriott! After lunch, I’m going to the ALSC gaming session, Hey! I Want to Do that, too!: Gaming and the Elementary Age Child from 1:30-3:30 pm at the . Children are excited to play electronic and online games. What’s available and appropriate for children in second to fifth grade? With a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology, Warren Buckleitner, editor of Children’s Technology Review, will share his knowledge of child development and emerging technology products, followed by a discussion of electronic game collection development, age-appropriate online games, and implementation of gaming in your library/media center.

On Monday June 30 from 8:00am- Noon, ACRL is sponsoring a FOUR HOUR SESSION on “Next Media.” One Part Inspiration: Creative Trends that Further Science Learning takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center in 201 D. Social and cultural changes resulting from new technology continue to have an exciting impact on libraries as well as the scientific community. Why do some ventures into cyberspace find an immediate and extensive audience, and how can we apply their playful aspects to encourage learning? This program will combine a theoretical look at phenomena such as gaming and Web 2.0 with the whimsical viewpoint of those who are actually creating and applying the “Next Media.”

Can’t make it to the events? I’ll be covering most of them right here on this blog, with links to session presentations as speakers make them available. Stay tuned, and to those of you who will be competing, at Open Gaming Night, the Big Game, or in the Gaming Pavilion – good luck!