people playing video games in a library

Gaming and Play in the Library: A Brief History

The international academic journal Library Quarterly recently published my article tracing the history of gaming in libraries back to the 1850s. You can see the entire article in the publications area of my game lab, Because Play Matters. I wanted to offer a few highlights here about how public libraries have used games over the years. … Continued


Photo via smithsonianmag.com

Games As Educational Tools: Teaching Skills, Transforming Thoughts

Games, and the entertainment value of play, have the ability to teach and transform. We don’t think about that as children playing hide-and-seek in the neighborhood. We don’t acknowledge it during turns at charades or throughout the rounds of a board game. That’s because games are engaging and entertaining. And precisely because they are, research shows, … Continued


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Video Update, Week 10: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

In this week’s update, Professor Scott Nicholson is in Singapore where he is experiencing the food, culture and of course, board games! After eating some famous Chili Crab, he visits the MIT Gambit Lab to meet some of the participants there and learn about their projects. He also takes us to the Singapore Flyer, a Ferris wheel even larger than the London Eye, so we can see the views of the entire city. Nicholson continues his travels in Asia and visits Kuala Lumpur to give a talk, and then is back in Singapore to speak at a conference.


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Video Update, Week 9: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

In Professor Scott Nicholson’s ninth video update, he’s not in MIT… he’s in Malaysia, where he’s giving a day-long seminar to other university professors about teaching online. He shares with us the gorgeous views from his travels, his experiences with jet lag, and some take-aways from his workshop about online education.


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Video Update, Week 8: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

In his eighth video update since beginning the semester at MIT, Professor Scott Nicholson discusses the Essen Game Fair in Germany where over 700 new board games are introduced for the holiday season. He also breaks down the latest news in board games, including two companies who both believe they have the rights to reprint an old game. Finally, he tells us about meeting a representative from Microsoft Germany and discussing future plans for collaboration.


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Video Update, Week 7: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

In his seventh MIT video update, Professor Scott Nicholson is on a Boston safari! This week, he shares footage of elephants from the circus traveling near the MIT campus and discusses his recent trip to the Minnesota Library Association’s 2011 Annual Conference where he was the keynote speaker. The topic of his presentation was “Engagement through Games: Reaching Library Users through Playful Ways”.


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Video Update, Week 6: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

Professor Nicholson is a month and a half into his visit as a visiting faculty member at MIT. This week, he discusses his experience attending the North American Simulation and Gaming Association Conference. Nicholson ran a session on the game Werewolf and how you could apply it to a learning environment. He also attended several sessions on gaming and education.


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Video Update, Week 5: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

Professor Scott Nicholson has had a hectic week as a visiting faculty member at MIT in his latest video blog post. He shares with us his experience going on WNPR during an hour-long broadcast to discuss board games, his future projects, and his travel plans for the next few weeks.


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Video Update, Week 4: Professor Scott Nicholson at MIT

Professor Scott Nicholson has been at MIT as a visiting faculty member for the past four weeks. In his newest video update, he shares some insight  and footage of his program on modern board games. To catch up on his previous videos, click here for week one, week two and week three. Thanks for watching, … Continued