ALA Virtual Midwinter 2021

Virtual Playtime with GameRT at #alamw21

GameRT presented examples for virtual gaming, as well as resources and tips for introducing them to patrons. Our presenters were Dan Major of Orion Township Public Library (adult services), Erica Ruscio of Ventress Memorial Library (teen services), Rebecca Strang of Naperville Public Library (children’s services), and Jeff Pinsker of AMIGO Games (CEO).

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The Gamification of Reading

John Hersey, author of Hiroshima, once worked on a committee for his children’s school to determine why children were struggling at reading. The group’s discovery was that the reason the children were struggling was because they thought the primers they were reading looked boring. They didn’t want to read stories featuring illustrations of perfectly mannered children that just looked dull, insipid, and boring. This idea of using interesting illustrations was taken up by William Ellsworth Spaulding, an editor at Houghton Mifflin’s textbook division. He borrowed an illustrator named Ted Geisel from Random House to create a textbook that contained words that experts had decided were important for first graders to know. Nine months later a book featuring 236 of those words from the list was created. Geisel had noticed that many of the words on the list rhymed; the first two words happened to be cat and hat. Cat in…