Updates!

A few quick updates to some of my earlier posts:

FINDING THE FUTURE
On April 2nd, I wrote about Jane McGonigal’s partnership with New York Public Library to “Find The Future.” That excursion takes place this evening — right now, as I write, it begins! — with 500 people exploring the history and adventures to be found in the depths of the Stephen A Schwartzman Building of the NYPL. For those of us who are not in the Big Apple, or are otherwise unable to play in person, online play will begin tomorrow!

Find the Future Updates!

PLAY LEARN INNOVATE
At the beginning of this month, I described the upcoming “Play Learn Innovate” online symposium being put together jointly by OCLC and Library Journal. I’m getting more excited (and more nervous!) because June 7th is coming fast, but it definitely promises to be an event to remember. If all goes according to plan, you will have ideas on how to innovate playfully for yourselves and your patrons alike.

There’s been a change of presenters, because Constance Steinkuehler is unable to make the date. In her place will be another of the amazing team out of University of Wisconsin-Madison, Erica Halverson. Erica will be addressing the value of fun, art, and fandom in learning environments, and how these can apply for libraries and librarians.

The seminar is free to attend but you do need to sign up in advance. For those unable to attend, there will be a transcript available afterward.

R U GAME?
In January, I recommended people keep the R U Game series of informal talks on their radar. These discussions of gaming and libraries takes place inside World of Warcraft, in the Ironforge library on the Saurfang (Oceanic) server, where it is hosted by Ellen Forsyth, a consultant-librarian with the State Library of New South Wales.

One of the programs I most wanted to attend was to hear Peggy Sheehy and Lucas Gillespie talk about the extraordinary WoW in Schools project. Sadly, I missed the event itself but the transcript is available on the Games and Public Libraries wiki. The lively group had many questions and thoughtful responses to discuss, and Lucas Gillespie shared many great ideas. (Peggy had to miss the event.)

Particularly interesting was Lucas mentioning that the curriculum design for the program, currently being used in schools in New York, Florida, and North Carolina, is going to be made available to anyone interested, free of charge, in late June (just before ISTE‘s main conference). Academic librarians should take note, especially. Next month’s event will offer reflections on play pedagogy, and World of Warcraft from speakers Landon K Pirius and Gill Creel. In early August, Eli Neiburger (Ann Arbor District Library), author of the watershed book “Gamers… in the Library?!” will make a virtual appearance in Ironforge.

Chaucer Updates!CHAUCER’S ROAD TO CANTERBURY
Finally, a few weeks ago I talked about the upcoming boardgame “The Road to Canterbury“, in accord with any one of my several previous posts about the connections between games and literature. The game is due to be released from Gryphon Games soon, but curiously, the publisher was uncertain of the reception it would get… and consequently, how many copies should be printed. I was … intrigued?… that they chose to put the product up for funding through Kickstarter, seeking pledges to the tune of $10,000. Last week, the funding was achieved and The Chronicle of Higher Education evidently approves. If you’re looking to stretch your purchasing dollars, a Kickstarter pledge of $45 will get you the game as soon as it is released; the retail price will be $60.

Disclosure
Game designer Alf Seegert and I started brief email conversation about “The Road to Canterbury” after my first blog post, and he has offered to send me a copy when it is released, for possible review.

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Liz Danforth About Liz Danforth

Liz Danforth, MLS, is a freelance game illustrator, scenario designer, and game developer who was inducted into the Academy of Gaming Arts and Design's Hall of Fame in in 1996. She has 18 years experience as a part-time paralibrarian in Phoenix and Tucson and is one of about a dozen "gaming experts" working with the American Library Association on a million-dollar grant-funded project to study the use of gaming to improve literacy skills and to develop a model "toolbox" for gaming in libraries. Through Danforth Design & Development (D3), she also works as an artist, a writer, and a library consultant. Follow her on Twitter @LizDanforth.

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