Thinking Beyond the Stacks: Games in Special Collections

Thinking Beyond the Stacks: Games in Special Collections

Jacquelyn Sundberg, Outreach and Special Projects, ROAAr, McGill University LibraryHIGHER EDUCATION

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Where do games fit in the university library? Rare Books and Special collections can be intimidating for the uninitiated. Navigating archival and primary source historical collections requires active curiosity, a bit of guidance, a willingness to explore, and openness to discovery.

Play brings all of these concepts together. For that reason, the McGill Library embarked on an exploration of serious play in 2019. Although the pandemic changed the appearance and deliverables of this research interest, the spirit of play sparked the creation of four library games. These games lower barriers to entry for players, introducing them to the world of archives and rare books through a playful, exploratory experience.

The game creators and designers crafted games but also ran into significant barriers. This talk discusses the challenges involved in the process of crafting games in a university library setting, and the difficulties faced with game reception and attitude.

Attendee Benefits

This talk provides viewpoints on barriers that game creators in higher education often face, particularly in a library setting. Attendees will learn how librarians and game designers addressed some of these barriers while trying out new tools to open up broader access to special and archival collections.

Key takeaways:
Strategies for grant crafting and building healthy collaborative partnerships.
Ideas for campus connection and innovative student engagement.
Ideas for a game that lets players see familiar tools - e.g. social media accounts and websites, in a novel way.

Wed 12:00 am - 12:00 am