Virtual Information Literacy Live Augmented Game Experience (VILLAGE) is a project team made up of librarians and students at Syracuse University Libraries. Our goal is to develop an open-source library-theme 'escape room' game using virtual reality (VR) technology, with a special interest in exploring the intersection of VR with information literacy (IL).
Virtual reality (VR) has gained greater attention in recent years due to its increased accessibility with both cost and technological advancements. Devices such as the Meta Quest (formerly Oculus Quest 2) are less expensive, easier to maintain, develop, and distribute. Stanford University offered their first for-credit course offered in VR, Comm 166/266, where students collectively attended class in a synchronous, virtual environment.
Libraries have embraced new technologies for both research and teaching needs in academics, including gamification of information literacy concepts. Up until now, libraries have only explored and successfully implemented escape rooms in the real world or online using two-dimensional spaces (as seen with storyboard web pages). We aim to explore the implications of combining information literacy concepts and critical analysis of information, in a virtual environment.
The project will also address the following:
How quickly and easily can a VR game be developed using little to no coding.
The effectiveness of a VR game for information literacy.
The viability of distribution of the source code for the project.
ROI for libraries and institutions.
Feasibility of implementation of a VR session.
Juan Denzer, Lead Project Manager and Developer
Natalie LoRusso, Project Manager
Chloe Guedalia, Game Designer
Cheng Zhongquan (Peter), Game Developer and Designer
Rachel Hogan, Game Designer
Special thanks to Alayna Vander Veer ('22) for her contributions to this project.