I think this is great news! I know the research has shown over and over again all the benefits of gaming in a learning environment, but mostly that’s been associated with high schools, junior highs, and elementary schools. Over the last several years I’ve noticed universities here and there trying on the idea of gaming. A lot of university libraries are creating flash games to teach information literacy skills to incoming freshman. I think that’s great! A fun way to learn about how to use the resources in the library so doing your homework, hopefully, becomes a little less daunting.
However, what I find even more exciting are libraries that are hosting social gaming nights. A good example right here in Illinois is at Western Illinois University. It’s held once a month and is called simply Game Nite. They have games of all types available from the most basic board games, even card games like Magic: The Gathering, to Wii and Xbox gaming. It’s open to the public, and they call it brainy. I love it! They also have games students can check out.. ..can I go back to undergrad now? I could have saved hundreds of dollars on games if my library did that. I’m now sending positive currents of encouragement and thankfulness to the wonderful folks at the Western Illinois University Libraries for doing this. Follow the link to Game Nite to get more info.
Does anyone know of more fantastic gaming programs taking place at universities elsewhere in the country?
If you happen to be reading this and are a mover and/or shaker in the university gaming world you should think about contributing to a new book. The Library Games blog posted an announcement looking for people to write chapters in a new book coming out from ACRL with the working title: Casebook on Gaming in Academic Libraries. Check out the links if you’re interested in finding out more.