The Purposeful Gaming and BHL project recently launched its first two browser-based video games, Smorball and Beanstalk. Both are designed to offer players a fun online diversion while helping the Biodiversity Heritage Library (BHL) enable full-text searching of digitized materials. Funded by a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), which was awarded in December 2013, the project is exploring how games might be used to entice people to participate in crowdsourcing efforts at libraries and museums.
Inspired by the experiences of Connecticut librarian Sarah Ludwig’s Minecraft library club, Elizabeth Grohoski and Karen Letteriello of the Mattituck-Laurel Library (NY) are now using a virtual Minecraft library to attract young patrons. The game allows users to build in a 3-D virtual world with cubes similar to Legos—but without any proscriptive kits and manuals.