Here at the library we have been involved with two separate groups who are designing games for us. These games are meant to teach information literacy. We are not quite sure how we are ultimately going to use them, but that may be easier once we see the finished projects. From the meetings I have been to, the games are looking pretty solid and I can't wait to play them.
In addition, a number of students recently got a grant from the UN to design a game that combats violence against women. They traveled to South Africa and from their blog posts clearly had an amazing and moving experience. Learning in gaming is clearly a trend around here, and an awesome one from my perspective. I love fooling people into learning.
This trend is not limited to Champlain College though. The startup company Grockit took home a Jury Selection award at this year's TechCrunch50. From what I have read it is “Massively Multi Player Online Learning Game” in which you are a student in a classroom and you get questions that you can discuss and debate and ultimately decide on. You award "Grockit points" to other students that increase or decrease their ranking. It sounds like an online study session but funner. The article talks about using it to study for things like the SATs, but I could see this product used in a lot of interesting ways, especially in the classroom. They have been very secretive about it for the past year and only now are they opening it up to the light of day. I am excited to learn more about it and see where this game goes.
Who knows, maybe some of our graduates will go on to work on this game or something even better.