Playing – not just for children!

Can playing games help you learn? What role does gaming have in higher education? A group of staff from Learning Resources went to find out at a workshop about using games for higher education on Monday 18th March.  This proved to be a very informative and practical workshop.


The workshop was led by Andrew Walsh, the “playbrarian(and also a University and National Teaching Fellow). Andrew set the tone for day with team challenges that included making friends with a non-human animal, making a sculpture from found objects, or challenging a stranger to a game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’.

Once settled, we explored what we mean by play, games, and gamification. We then discussed the benefits for using games and play in higher education and library sessions. We explored issues about being given permission to play, looking at ways of enabling play and participation.

Andrew provided us with examples of games used at other university. He introduced us to the use of Lego to model abstract thoughts and share ideas. Then it was our turn to design some educational games. In teams, we developed library games and voted for our favourite. This resulted in a tie, which was settled with a game of ‘rock, paper, scissors’.


Thank you to Andrew for an insightful day about the benefits of using games and play in library sessions and leaving us with plenty of ideas.  ‘Rock, paper, scissors’ anyone?

— Shani Davis, Academic Liaison Library Assistant

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