cil2008: libraries as happiness engines, day 3 keynote

Liz Lawley, Director at Lab for Social Computing at Rochester Institute of Techology

start thinking about libraries as some thing more than a place, think of them as an emotional center of communities, as a place that makes people happy. increasing recognition of the importance of happiness. Inspiration for talk came from a gaming as happiness talk.

4 key components of happiness:

1 satisfying work

2 experience of being good at something

3 time spent with people we like

4 chance to be part of something bigger

are libraries in the happiness business? they’re going to have to be to stay relevant. there are many issues with quality of life in the real world. we are privileged at this conference, but most aren’t. digital pursuits and virtual worlds provide an escape from a lack of happiness in the real world

real world colleagues and online playmates –bonnie nardi, leigh estabrook, blurring of boundaries of online playmates and colleagues. online world is being connected.

plays the song “spoonful of sugar” from mary poppins to illustrate the idea that “there’s an element of fun in every bit of work ot be done.” how many gamers in the room? y’all are familiar with the “grind”, right? process of repetitive work in games, gaining skills, trying a task over and over and over again, spending their leisure time on this within gaming environment. she wrote an article for terra nova, called “in praise of the grind”, it allows you small victories and gives rewards in small pieces. you get gold, reputation, etc. etc. in pokemon, 5 year-olds spend many hours memorizing pokemon characters because the game is more rewarding. libraries have always know this in the back of their mind, reinforcement.

aj kim, 5 points of games being fun and functional: rewards, collecting points feedback exchanges customization. concept of “productive play” is much better than “serious games,” which is a term going around the gaming world.

there are a few places that have always known the importance of rewards and games, such as tupperware parties. people get rabid about tupperware parties. tupperware sales meetings and rallies are huge games. people will work so hard for a level of recognition.
real world games – super sleuth. in libraries – summer reading programs, showcases king county summer reading. the game makes reading a challenge. games that blur boundaries – chore wars, online real-world chore game for families. tasks earn points. seriosity’s attent. social genius – liz developed this game with students at nyu, idea is to get people at work can better recognize their coworkers, and to do tasks that aren’t considered typically fun.

passively multiplayer online gaming (PMOG) – new idea in gaming, important to know about. pmog gives you points for surfing – points for visiting websites. still in beta. could change a lot about the way that people look for information – you can create missions. example of battlestar galactica mission – game is a big pathfinder that takes you from site to site in a mission, each website has been annotated by the people who have created missions. how do you get the students in the class to put together collections of resources. you can put landmines on certain pages, or leave presents on pages, important thing is that the web becomes the gameboard. many implications for libraries and IL skills.

games as gateway drugs. guitar hero inspiring people to learn real games. longing for the tangible in gaming.

online rebound – from real to virtual and back again. plaly money, book by julian bell. the author hand-bound 5 copies for an art show, hand bound book wrapped in an end user license agreement. he also created a virtual version of this book to transmit via second life. documented the process with photos in flickr. he can’t sell the bood because perseus owns the license, so the eula states that “the book is not a book”, but a token that can be exchanged for a virtual copy in second life. also states that the user cannot read the book. language taken from microsoft.

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