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Lessons for libraries from Blizzard


Reading this fun article about the 11 Innovation Lessons from Creators of World of Warcraft, I was impelled to draw parallels between libraries and game designers.

Designing ambitious and popular games isn’t too far removed from outlining and implementing efficient library services. Many of the concepts that have made the World of Warcraft so successful, may well be useful to librarians looking for ways to shake up their possibly “dusty” services. Though detailed by Blizzard executives in the original article, here are the 11 points:

  1. Rely on Critics
  2. Use Your Own Product (Meaning try what you give to users for yourself)
  3. Make Continual Improvements
  4. Go Back to the Drawing Board
  5. Design for Different Kinds of Customers
  6. The Importance of Frequent Failures
  7. Move Quickly, In Pieces
  8. Statistics Bolster Experience
  9. Demand Excellence or You’ll Get Mediocrity
  10. Create a New Type of Product (Or to me, don’t be afraid to do so.)
  11. Offer Employees Something Extra

I know I may be a bit biased due to my fascination with Warcraft, but watching the game evolve around the players seems on par with the more modern “user centered” library mantras.

“Inside Innovation with Colin Stewart » Blog Archive » 11 Innovation Lessons from Creators of World of Warcraft – OCRegister.Com.” http://innovation.freedomblogging.com/2008/04/04/11-innovation-lessons-from-creators-of-world-of-warcraft/ (accessed 4/7/2008, 2008).

  1. Alison
    04/08/2008 at 1:57 pm

    What a great post! I have tried WoW before and NEVER would I have thought to compare libraries to a MMORPG. Makes sense though…thank you!

  2. 04/08/2008 at 3:30 pm

    Thanks for the comment. Sometimes I wonder how much fun information literacy instruction would be if the students had a “quest” to perform, rather than a quiz?

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