There are a lot of other types of gaming that are more difficult to classify, which you can find here.
What better way to learn than through play? Libraries have made games about learning/using their services for a long time, and now technology is helping make these efforts even better. Privacy issues can be a concern, though, as rewarding library use involves keeping track of it...
- Librarygame (UK) - Formerly Lemontree, this game was developed for university libraries and is a great way to engage students with library programs and services, but it does track their data to do so. Their development blog can be found here.
- Canton Public Library gamified their Summer Reading Program with an innovative badge system
- Mozilla has a free open system called Open Badges that enables you to create badges that people can earn for various things and store/show off in their Mozilla Backpack. This free software would make the basis of an excellent gamification system.
- Passports - Can't do a fancy online game? Why not create paper library "passports" and give special stamps for doing different things, like "attended ___ program" or "cooked a new recipe from a cookbook?" The possibilities are endless.
- Leaderboards keeping track of the amount of books read or badges/stamps earned can lend a competitive air to a library's game!
- Just want to teach library skills with a game? Here is a list of library games, courtesy of St. Joseph School Library in Seattle, WA.
ARGs and LARPing
ARGs, or "Alternate Reality Games," use a lot of different resources, particularly social media, to create an immersive game that is played throughout the community and online. A very good description of what they're all about can be found here.
In addition, you can read this article on "7 Things You Should Know About Alternate Reality Games."
While ARGs can require a lot of planning and a lot of resources, they have been done in the library world.
- Find the Future (NYPL)
- Toronto Public Library ran an ARG based on Fahrenheit 451
- Penn State University's libraries encouraged their students to look for the missing Nittany Lion
- Scott Nicholson of "Because Play Matters" created an ARG toolkit prototype, which can be found here
- EVOKE, developed by the World Bank, is an ARG that develops awareness of social issues facing the world
LARPing ("Live Action Role Playing") is a subset of RPGs that encourages the players to dress up and act out what happens. This can be extremely intricate and detailed (and costly), and requires a good deal of dedication, but lends an immersiveness to the proceedings.
- For more information, check out LARPING.org
Wouldn't it be awesome to have a Nerf war in the stacks? Well why don't you? Some libraries already have!
- James Kennedy Public Library, IA
- Glen Ellyn Public Library, IL
- Groton Public Library, NY
- Upper Arlington Public Library, OH
Humans Vs. Zombies
An awesome game of tag writ large, and with the eponymous groups fighting for survival or brains. Check it out here: https://humansvszombies.org/
LEGO events are common, fun, and relatively easy to do!
Miniweapons of Mass Destruction
The book series Miniweapons of Mass Destruction can be the source for some great games - kids can make catapults, etc. out of office supplies, build castles, and try to take them down. It's a great way to learn about the architecture behind fortresses.