Call for participants: Making neighborhood GAMES and outdoor STORIES with community history, monuments, and art

Sharing the following for our friends at Beyond our Walls. Beyond our Walls is a project to bring neighborhood games to 20+ cities and communities through public libraries.

Open call: more than 20 public libraries will be selected starting August 15 to “engage beyond our walls.” Each library will receive modest funding, live workshops with experienced game designers, and support to launch public events. There is a growing need for digital media in public space – and “low-tech” for everyone. By joining this program, libraries can become a hub for making neighborhood games and outdoor stories – from escape rooms with local history to audio tours with resident voices. The authoring tool is called Hive Mechanic, and it does not require any programming experience to use; it was made by the Game Center at American University in collaboration with the DC Public Library. Urban, tribal and rural public libraries are all welcome.

Here is a link to the Beyond our Walls Information sessions, which will be available by Zoom.

National Call for Libraries – Summer 2022

About the Workshops at Libraries (IMLS Project)

Beyond our Walls is recruiting 25+ libraries to become hubs for making outdoor games and interactive stories — using your local history, community voices, and neighborhood landmarks. This is a 2022-2023 initiative, thanks to an IMLS grant.

Why apply today?

There is a growing need to engage beyond library walls, including with digital media — as revealed by the COVID pandemic. By joining this program, your library will become a hub for making our own stories and outdoor games. We provide live training and pay for materials, and even run workshops in game design for your patrons over Zoom.

Our remarkable approach to “low tech” keeps the focus on telling community stories, from escape rooms with local history and public art, to audio tours that feature resident voices and send archival photos by text message. The tool we will teach you is called Hive Mechanic, and it does not require any programming experience to use; it was made by the Game Center at American University. Learn more at one of our info sessions below.

Read more about our project overview, or review a list of successful games/stories.

Promotional flyer that reads: recruiting 25+ libraries to become hubs for making neighborhood games and interactive stories using local history and landmarks. Apply by August. 15

Apply here (or sign up to hear more)

  1. Apply to participate by August 15, 2022, with our online form.
  2. …and/or sign up to hear more and stay in touch by email (optional)

Info sessions, more information and contact details

Attend an information session by Zoom. Answers to common questions will be posted to our page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for libraries.

  • Session 1: Wednesday, July 20 at 1pm EST, 2022. Register here for Zoom link (up until the event ends). Check back here for notes afterward.
  • Session 2: Thursday, July 28 at 2pm EST, 2022. Register here for Zoom link (up until the event ends). Check back here for notes afterward.
  • Session 3: Wednesday, August 10 at 3pm EST, 2022. Register here for Zoom link (up until the event ends). Check back here for notes afterward.
  • A second round of applications will open in the winter with info sessions in December of 2022.

Meet Beyond our Walls at a conference. Beyond our Walls will be at several in 2022, including ALA, Games for Change, JCLC, and ARSL. Learn about successful projects and see the tools in action.

For questions related to this project, please contact Benjamin Stokes, director of the Playful City Lab at American University, at PlayfulCityLab@gmail.com.

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