Librarians Learn to Play Games!

After this initial exercise, Rex went through a presentation about game mechanics and then he decide to tests the librarians knowledge with some Rock, Paper, Scissors. However, instead of the regular way, Rex made it a challenge/competition. The first round everyone was sitting on the floor, if they won a hand they could sit in a chair, and if they won against someone else sitting in a chair they could stand up and keep playing other standing people. They could only play people on their same level. and if they lost had any level they had to go down a level.

Last week we invited 25 local librarians to The Exploratory to participate in our Games! Professional Development Session. Rex Beaber, an education games curriculum developer and expert, came by to teach the educators all about the mechanics of game psychology, why it works so well for youth engagement and learning and how to use recycled materials to create games on the spot. The focus was on how to make play and games unique and fun for youth while teaching them about design and making and STEAM.

First, to show the librarians how complex a simple game can get after you add a couple extra rules and the importance of rules in a game, Rex had them play thumb war with people around them. They realized that everyone may have different rules when it comes to the game and how important it is to communicate the rules before playing. Next, Rex added a few rules himself which were that everyone had to play thumb war with two people at a time and everyone in the room had to be connected. After the awkward silence, hilarity ensued as the librarians tried to figure out how they were going to make Rex’s rules happen.

After the excitement of Rock, Paper, Scissors, the librarians finally got to create their own games out of recycled materials that we have in the makerspace. We saw games like a skee-ball game, interactive mazes, and a new mouse trap type game. Overall, I could tell that the librarians had a great time by the smiles on their faces and the sounds of their laughter. Games! was a success and I can’t wait to hear about all the children they inspire through games like the ones they created.

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