Thursday, August 27, 2009

Changing the rules of the game for fun and learning

While I have no plans to take a sabbatical and dedicate the time to developing library games, I have been thinking about how libraries, games, and learning might intersect. I've reserved judgment on the matter as I do my research, but my gut feeling is that we, as a profession, have been looking at the matter too - for lack of a better word - literally.

In order to widen the perspective of the possibilities, please imagine a game in which you can spend a turn changing the rules of the game or to add new rules to the game. Players are allowed to be as silly or as serious as they'd like about the rules. What could you possibly learn from all this?

Well, Nomic is such a game and it was designed to allows players to explore the ideas of self-amendment which can also be found in law and governance.

I can't see a direct correlation with this game and libraries (although self-governance is a continual challenge in any library) but there is an indirect one. Nomic was designed by Peter Suber who is a senior research professor of philosophy at Earlham College and,

the open access project director at Public Knowledge, a senior researcher at SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition), and a Fellow at Harvard's Berkman Center and Office for Scholarly Communication. He is also a member of the Advisory Boards at the Wikimedia Foundation, the Open Knowledge Foundation, and other organizations devoted to open access and an information commons [Wikipedia].

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