Magazine article Computers in Libraries

NYPL Opens Doors to Discovery Game

Magazine article Computers in Libraries

NYPL Opens Doors to Discovery Game

Article excerpt

The New York Public Library (NYPL) created a game to incorporate smartphones into the discovery of its collections. Game designer and author Jane McGonigal worked with teams at Playmatics and Natron Baxter to create Find the Future: The Game around the NYPL's collections. The game is part of the library's Centennial Celebration, also called Find the Future, honoring the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 42nd Street.

For the game, the library opens its doors all night for the first time in history, welcoming 500 participants, who then complete 100 quests that take them throughout the library and its collections. Starting at 8 p.m., the gamers divide into teams and then receive missions on their smartphones. Each mission describes an object to be found--Jack Kerouac's glasses, the Declaration of Independence, or a letter opener made from the paw of Charles Dickens'cat, for example. Once a team finds the object, its members scan a QR code that unlocks the quest, a written challenge that is typed in a laptop. …

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