Here’s a mention of one of our largest side-projects which graduated from RITH labs this year.
We think sideprojects that have a lot to say demand their own blog as well as their own site and even a chance to spin off into their own business directions! Which is precisely what we’re doing to librarygame which brings game mechanics directly into the library experience.
Since we started RITH, we’ve had a thirst for discovering things that are worthy of spending our spare minutes and hours on. There’s a great tradition of design agencies with their own products, sometimes these grow to dwarf the design company itself. One area that jumped at us early on was all to do with a place we spent a good portion of our childhoods at, Libraries!
We collectively think, they’ve been malnourished with really awful interfaces in the past and a lot of the issues they’re facing these days precisely relate to really basic user experience factors which can be improved with little cost and a sprinkling of imagination.
We think we’re well placed to do this as well, other companies that are creating platforms for ‘gamification’ are usually applying a very broad brush thinly, but we’re after deep engagement, not simple game layers and veneers of attractiveness, we want the game to spark enjoyable learning journeys and habituate good practice.
There’s a lovely quote by Esther Dyson:
“Go where other people aren’t. Any time you approach something as an outsider, you’re able to see what people who are familiar with it can’t.”
This fits quite nicely with this venture that we find ourselves involved in. We are in a way complete outsiders, yet we’ve been looking into the library world since we were kids, and with great enthusiasm about making a difference since 2005 as professionals.
The story so far!
So for the last two years at RITH, while we’ve been working on client projects we’ve also had our own incubator or as we call it startup–within-a-startup, RITH Labs. RITH has given us an incredible business, with TV appearances, mentoring placement students, collaborating widely with agencies far and wide, and immense roster of clients.
There were points where we kept it stealthy, and there were points where we went all out and mentioned it to people at conferences like Mashed Libraries.
Out of all those interactions and all our work (at weekends, nights and crazy hours) something new and beautiful emerged at the end of 2011. We created, something that is a bit of a first in the library world – a game that is played in your library! … and you guessed it, we called it LibraryGame!
What is Librarygame
Librarygame is a library enhancement tool and a game that’s played within libraries, it essentially embeds the mechanics of games; things like points, collections, achievements, leaderboards, messaging and reciprocity directly into the experience of using a library to compel patrons and generate loyalty. Our first partner has been the University of Huddersfield.
Who it’s for?
It’s for public and academic libraries of all sizes. Library patrons sign up with their regular library cards and their interactions within the library are tracked (obviously with their implied consent) things like their book borrowing, recommendations, completion of certain tasks (reading lists) carry points. There is a huge amount of customisation that is possible.
How does it work?
The University of Huddersfield were very keen to get their hands on it and customise their own flavour of Librarygame, which we called Lemontree. We decided to deliver a little bit more than a prototype we were originally commissioned to make and so far its been quite a success and we’re in the process of balancing the game play and iterating upon the initial offering for students in 2012.
To find out more about Librarygame for your library please visit:
Can I see it working somewhere?
To see the first version in action
Petite url: http://rith.co.uk/blog/ygqnf