Jacquelyn D'Eall Sundberg, Outreach and Special Projects, McGill University Library, Elisa Navarro Chinchilla, Educational Video Games Developer, Gargamel Studio, Nicholas Vassos, President, NJAV Productions, Paul Darvasi, Educator, Royal St. George's College/University of TorontoTrack 3 HIGHER ED
Moderator: Jacquelyn D'Eall Sundberg
Outreach and Special Projects
McGill University Library
Panelists: Elisa Navarro Chinchilla
Educational Video Games Developer
In response to the 2020 Pandemic campus closure, a team of McGill librarians, archivists, game designers, and artists mobilized to share the McGill campus and library collections with students, despite the crisis.
The panel, composed of the development team's diverse constituents, will discuss the procedures and tools they employed to move beyond traditional academic library practices and collaboratively design and develop an online long-form narrative escape room. "Raising Spirits: A Timely Diversion" engages participants in a multimedia experience and introduces them to McGill's campus, history, library spaces, key resources, and even librarians.
Although the pandemic prompted this project, this method of presenting the campus and collections through online games will outlast the crisis. The game provides an alternative environment that lowers barriers to entry, inspires experimentation, and drives engagement with new resources. The game's focus on university history and locations builds campus connection and engagement despite campus closure and remote teaching. By bringing library collections and campus spaces to an interactive virtual space using 3D photospheres, puzzles, and an engaging interactive storyline, we managed to increase our reach well beyond the typical library user-base, bringing students and alumni into the virtual library spaces.
This discussion provides multiple viewpoints on game creation - an expert game designer, a librarian, a digital artist, and that of a student and videographer. Attendees will learn how the designers used existing, freely available tools and web platforms to build two games during the COVID-19 closure of campus. These games used accessible, familiar tools, including social media accounts and websites, to design puzzles and game elements in a novel way. These tools include 3D virtual tour platforms, Instagram, Twitter, Google sites, Unity, and more.
Key takeaways :
- Inventive provision of remote services.
- Ideas for campus connection and innovative student engagement.
- Skills for creative product development using tools and resources that are free and openly available.
- Ideas for a game that lets players see familiar tools - e.g. social media accounts and websites, in a novel way.