Gaming Tips

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Tips from the Expert Panel: Gaming Readiness, Implementation and Evaluation

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Gaming Tips

  1. 1. “ PLAY GAMES YOURSELF, FOR FUN.  THERE IS NO SUBSTITUTE FOR THIS; GAMING IS EXPERIENTIAL.” TIPS FROM THE EXPERT PANEL: Gaming Readiness, Implementation and Evaluation
  2. 2. KNOW YOUR LIBRARY <ul><li>Identify current library users. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify non-users. </li></ul><ul><li>Survey library users to determine their gaming preferences and their wish list of services. </li></ul><ul><li>Match patron requests and community demographics to library collections. </li></ul>
  3. 3. TALK WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES <ul><li>Identify frequently asked questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Discuss challenges and barriers to delivering gaming services. </li></ul><ul><li>Brainstorm solutions and changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Promote collaboration and creativity. </li></ul><ul><li>Share success stories. </li></ul>
  4. 4. REACH OUT TO YOUR COMMUNITY <ul><li>Connect with community-based gaming programs, partnerships, and organizations. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce the library to businesses, faith-based organizations, community centers, social service agencies, the media, and your city government. </li></ul><ul><li>Invite community members to your library for gaming and conversation. </li></ul>
  5. 5. ADVOCACY <ul><li>Understand the link between gaming and literacy. </li></ul><ul><li>Be prepared to answer hard questions. </li></ul><ul><li>Staff learning is required to participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Stay alert to adults sticking their nose in to see what’s happening, and be prepared to talk, talk, talk. </li></ul><ul><li>Never give up. </li></ul><ul><li>Be positive, always. </li></ul>
  6. 6. PLAN FOR SUCCESS <ul><li>Develop a game plan for adding and expanding new gaming services. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a timeline. </li></ul><ul><li>Review your resources-- human, fiscal, and in-kind. </li></ul><ul><li>Recruit strong allies </li></ul><ul><li>Take action! </li></ul>
  7. 7. PLANNING <ul><li>Plan early. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicate regularly and clearly. </li></ul><ul><li>Collaborate! </li></ul><ul><li>Be flexible. </li></ul><ul><li>Ask the community what they want and be ready to respond. </li></ul><ul><li>Set limits and provide structure, but keep rules to a minimum. </li></ul>
  8. 8. GET ORGANIZED <ul><li>Organize shared equipment in a plastic tub and include a check-off list. </li></ul><ul><li>Keep records! A wiki is great for the rules of the game, timeline, and PR materials. </li></ul>
  9. 9. MARKETING <ul><li>Be visible from passers-by. </li></ul><ul><li>Turn the music up to attract attention. </li></ul><ul><li>Put up a whiteboard sign in the lobby. </li></ul><ul><li>Hang posters where the gamers are. </li></ul><ul><li>Be creative with marketing. </li></ul>
  10. 10. IMPLEMENTING <ul><li>Start small. </li></ul><ul><li>Pilots. Pilots. Pilots! </li></ul><ul><li>Do not be afraid of initial failure. </li></ul><ul><li>Even if you stink, they appreciate you for being “game” – and they can take delight in “pwning” you or helping you learn to get better. </li></ul>
  11. 11. IMPLEMENTING <ul><li>Offer variety – board, card, electronic, online… </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity results in higher appeal--and value--to an established audience. </li></ul>
  12. 12. IMPLEMENTING <ul><li>Feed them and they will come. Don’t stint and risk running out, especially of liquids. </li></ul><ul><li>Tournaments always draw a bigger crowd than open play events. </li></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational programming can be a great opportunity for fostering relationships. </li></ul>
  13. 13. TABLETOP GAME SPECIFICS <ul><li>Start with modern board games in school settings. </li></ul><ul><li>Purchase multiple copies of board copies for instruction and tournaments. </li></ul><ul><li>Set up board games on tables--don’t leave them in boxes. </li></ul><ul><li>Assign someone to act as a game maitre’d to provide gaming advisory and direct participants to ideal game experiences. </li></ul>
  14. 14. VIDEOGAME SPECIFICS <ul><li>Find a knowledgeable kid in the audience.  </li></ul><ul><li>Watch cartoons or other related media for gaming program ideas. </li></ul><ul><li>Always let players choose their difficulty.  They’d rather not win than suck. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t let the hardcore players talk you out of items or other random elements-- randomness gives less skilled players hope. Libraries should give people hope. </li></ul><ul><li>Offer socks (for DDR). </li></ul>
  15. 15. STAFFING <ul><li>Have at least two staff available, but be flexible--use volunteers </li></ul><ul><li>Perhaps the Game Club can host! </li></ul><ul><li>Let the players get involved with production, especially as commentators. </li></ul>
  16. 16. MONEY <ul><li>Start with free. </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t be discouraged by governmental purchasing processes. </li></ul>
  17. 17. TURN IT UP! <ul><li>Make sure noise level is on the loud side. </li></ul><ul><li>Presentation matters.  Have a good sound system and let it be loud. </li></ul><ul><li>Consider offering headphones or earbuds for computers in some gaming experiences. </li></ul>
  18. 18. EVALUATING <ul><li>Start with a specific goal in mind. </li></ul><ul><li>Include traditional outcomes. </li></ul><ul><li>Remember to evaluate the whole experience. </li></ul><ul><li>Build momentum to negotiate for other teen programs in the wake of gaming success. </li></ul>

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