Featured Game Builder Series: Libraries Edition

With Rachel A. McCaskill and Jenny Stout of Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries (VCU)

Green Door Labs: Tell us about your library and the students you serve (goals for your students, number of students you serve, number of library staff, etc).

Virginia Commonwealth University: At VCU, we have an undergraduate population of approximately 24,000 students, over 4,000 of which are first-time freshmen. 

Green Door Labs: What prompted you to build a game for your students?

VCU: We wanted to be able to provide a mobile tour option because we wanted to provide a plethora of options for our target audience. Moreover, librarians providing in-person tours started to become a hassle– it was taking away a lot of time from our primary mission of teaching. We also noticed that students tended to zone out during in-person guided tours (no matter how fabulous their tour guide was).

Green Door Labs: Tell us about your game (objectives, outcomes, storyline, timing)

VCU: A tour of our beautiful new library: students would see all 5 floors, they’d learn about the most salient services and resources, and they’d be able to navigate at their own pace.

Green Door Labs: What was one of the most surprising things you learned about your students by building a game?

VCU: That figuring out directional language is TOUGH! Our VCU Edventure team had to put on our “freshman hats” and literally walk around the library like we had no clue where we were in order to develop meaningful directions that were concise enough to fit on this mobile platform.

Green Door Labs: What would you change about how you designed and built your game, if anything?

VCU: I’d allow for even more interactivity. I’d love to explore the video “question/step” options further. 

Green Door Labs: Tell us about some of the most significant outcomes of your game.

VCU: Actual learning! Each stop on the tour requires students to answer a question and/or interact with a library employee. This pretty much forces students to interact and we think it helps them to learn on their own. 

Green Door Labs: What are some upcoming goals for your library and some ideas on how to tackle them?

VCU: Difficult question: I’ll consult with the team on answering this for the webinar.

We will revisit the last question during our webinar to kick off #LibGamesWeek on June 12th from 2-3PM EST! To sign up for the webinar and to learn more about #LibGamesWeek, click here!


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