Gaming in (School) libraries?

Aaron Schmidt spoke to the Internet @ Schools crowd this morning on Gaming and Learning. To entice them, he emphasized the social nature of gaming, the fact that players are reading a great deal, and often doing the equivalent of research while gaming online and cooperatively.

A sampling of Aaron’s remarks:

Games reinforce:
  • Risk taking and experimentation
  • Collaboration
  • Prioritizing
  • Continuous partial attention/multi tasking
  • Persistence
  • Decision making skills
… all are skills we teach in schools (and "21st Century learning behaviors")
Games that are directly about learning? Among others, Aaron mentioned Big Brain Academy – who has the biggest brain! Cooking Mama—gets you measuring, timing … For the Nintendo DS dual screen, one game, Hotel Dusk, involves a lot of reading and moving around … uses the dual screen Nintendo DS as an "e-book reader."

Host a gaming event—to create good feelings about your school library. OK, if it’s too much for your library space, Aaron said, he’s known some school librarians to set up gaming events in cafeteria after school.

Interestingly (to me, at least), there was no sign of skepticism in the room. This group of school library media specialists buys in to the idea that it’s necessary to "understand the culture" of their learners and reach out to them; they appear willing to go to considerable effort (and expense?) to get kids into library, create good library vibes. There’s got to be more to it, though, and I’d say we/they all need to ponder "what’s the next step?" after that.

Got a comment about the usefulness of gaming in your particular library environment? School librarians … public librarians … legal librarians (well, maybe not the latter.)

–Dave Hoffman
Internet @ Schools co-moderator

One Response to “Gaming in (School) libraries?”

  1. Ewan McIntosh October 30, 2007 at 5:05 am #

    In Scotland we’ve just opened the Consolarium, the Scottish Centre for Games and Learning, and its website:

    We see huge benefits for kids in playing games to learn, and are carrying out case studies which we hope to scale up into more robust research in the coming year. That said, there’s plenty of research out there to illustrate the point. I blog about what I come across on