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Building an information literacy first‐person shooter

Jerremie Clyde (University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Chris Thomas (University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)

Reference Services Review

ISSN: 0090-7324

Article publication date: 14 November 2008




The purpose of this paper is to determine the feasibility of modifying a commercial off‐the‐shelf video game that incorporates elements of information literacy.


This paper examines six game design elements of educational video games and discusses the resources required to design and build Benevolent Blue, a “modded” video game.


This paper provides a discussion of the skills, time and funding required to build a “mod” incorporating information literacy.

Research limitations/implications

Although modifying commercial videogames is quite popular, very little discussion or work is written about “modding” and its potential use designing video games for libraries. Further research is required to determine if the knowledge transfer of information literacy skills occurs with players. Additional study could look at incorporating information literacy into video games of different genres and well as the impact that video games have on undergraduate student engagement and satisfaction.

Practical implications

This paper outlines the resources needed to modify a commercial off‐the‐shelf video game and provides suggestions on how others in libraries might do the same.


This paper looks at serious educational games in a new way – the modification of commercial off the shelf games to develop complete game play experiences that sit outside the classroom and emphasize the importance of play.



Clyde, J. and Thomas, C. (2008), "Building an information literacy first‐person shooter", Reference Services Review, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 366-380.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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