Crowdsourced Metadata Games: A Primer

The challenge: You have two minutes to educate a Stupid Robot by describing the picture below as precisely as possible. The catch: you can only list one word of any given length from 4-10 letters, and the robot will reject words it already knows. Therefore, you must be accurate, creative, and specific all at once. If, … Continued


Big Matters Discovered Behind Student-Built Game, ‘Little Matter’

An Arduino controller coupled with a NEXIS-themed, 3D-printed case pairs well with a brand-new video game developed by two iSchool students. The combination produced a new experience last week – the video game Little Matter–a central exhibit at the NEXIS Lab #FutureFriday event. Jay Getman and Alexander Krapf, both sophomores at the iSchool, collaborated to make their own video game … Continued


Crowdsourcing Pokemon: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

At this moment, there are over sixty-four thousand players attempting to overcome challenges as a Pokemon Trainer in an emulation of the Nintendo Gameboy Pokemon Red game in Twitch Plays Pokemon. Traditionally, Pokemon is a single-player video game, where the player collects pets known as Pokemon, explores the world, and fights other Pokemon trainers.  In … Continued


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The Madness That Is Flappy Bird

 HOOKED! The first 20 times I played, I could not get past the first pole. I just could not for the life of me get the bird to go where I wanted it. I told myself, “okay, this is ridiculous, stop the madness and delete the game.” But I couldn’t. Within the first 5 minutes … Continued


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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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Should Videogames be in Libraries?

Why don’t libraries have videogames? As both a gamer and librarian, I am concerned with the lack of acknowledgement of studies demonstrating the positive impacts of gaming or the remarkable projects being undertaken by both libraries and communities to “save the world” through gaming.   Videogames are prevalent in America.  Seventy-two percent of American households have … Continued


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Free for 24 hours – Fruit Ninja and other Halfbrick Games

  The finals are done and dusted with. Celebrate the holiday season by having some digital fun on your iPhones and iPads, for FREE. Halfbrick Studios has reduced the prices of their games, just for iPhone and iPad, to an absolute ZERO for the next 24 hours. This is, by far, the year end’s biggest discounted offer for … Continued


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Cloud Gaming: The Bright New Future of Gaming

Cloud gaming is a new paradigm that utilizes processing capabilities of cloud computing for the purpose of gaming. It is also called games on demand, much like video on demand.  The games are stored and launched from a host server in the cloud and streamed like a video to handheld devices, which have much lesser processing … Continued


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The Game Designers’ Guild: The Backstory

While I was on my sabbatical at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) last year, I participated in a number of student organizations.  Many of the student organizations at MIT are open to faculty, staff, alumni, and the general community, so they are more like MIT-hosted interest groups than traditional student organization. This resulted in vibrant … Continued