SILS is the new home for Games4Learning Initiative

March 15, 2010

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Information and Library Science (SILS) is pleased to announce that it is the new home for the Games4Learning Initiative.

The Games4Learning Initiative (G4L) was created by UNC at Chapel Hill’s Information Technology Services (ITS) Teaching and Learning in October 2007 with a kickoff symposium attended by nearly 100 faculty, staff and students. The goal of G4L is to help the campus community learn about how serious games can be applied to teaching and learning in higher education, to understand the research opportunities afforded by serious gaming and to help form multidisciplinary teams interested in researching and developing serious games. Serious games include games that are used for education, training, social awareness and social change.

The transition of G4L to SILS will give an academic home to an initiative with an academic mission. Elizabeth A. Evans, manager of the initiative, said “SILS has a long history of collaborative work across campus units, and that makes it the ideal home for this pan-university initiative. Several SILS students are already working on projects that involve gaming, and I’m looking forward to seeing that number increase.”

“We are delighted to welcome the Games4Learning Initiative to SILS,” said Dr. Barbara B. Moran, interim dean of SILS. “Integrating gaming into classroom instruction could offer students an opportunity to look at projects and solutions to problems in an innovative manner."

Since 2007, G4L has hosted a number of events for the campus community including “The Immersive Power of Created Worlds,” “Alternate Reality Games,” “Meet the Gamers: The Student Gaming Experience,” and “Liquid Narrative: The Importance of Story.” The Web site features reviews of serious games written by students, materials from past events and links to resources about serious games.

The Initiative is hosting its next event on Monday, April 5 at 1:30 p.m. in the Toy Lounge of Dey Hall on the UNC at Chapel Hill campus. Randy Brown, chief technical officer at Virtual Heroes, will talk about “Academia, Industry, and Government: Game Development in the Intersection.” The public is invited to attend. Registration is free but required:  For those who do not have an Onyen (provided by UNC), please contact Elizabeth Evans directly to register.