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Conceptual Model from my Everyone Plays... book

I've gotten permission to release Chapter 3 from my book, Everyone Plays at the Library, for free.  This chapter presents a model of game experiences that I developed in order to bring together games of all types.  Instead of focusing on a game platform, it focuses on the experiences players have in the game.

The SNAKS model of game experiences is built out of this model of a game experience in a library:

 and highlights 5 areas of importance in the model.  These areas are known as SNAKS: Strategy, Narrative, Action, Knowledge, and Social.  These aren't exclusive categories, so something can be both Action and Strategy, but I use this system to organize the rest of the book.

The idea is to help people who are picking games to consider what type of game experience they want to create, and then use this model to select specific games. 

You can get this chapter at 

Thanks to the folks at Information Today for letting me release this chapter for free!

You can also find Chapter 1 for free on the publisher's Web site at

Nicholson, S. (2010). A conceptual model of the library gaming experience (pp. 21-30). Everyone Plays at the Library: Creating Great Gaming Experiences for All Ages. Medford, NJ: Information Today.


Prototype of Faking It! for Android

In 2012, I had an idea for a game where most of the players knew a topic, and one player was trying to figure out what the topic was and fake it.  I put out a call online for submissions for topics to include in the game, and it was my plan to include the contributor's names on the published version of the game.

I couldn't figure out a way to make a paper version, so I ended up using MIT's App Inventor to create the prototype.  I've been testing it for a while and trying to decide what to do next.  In the meanwhile, MIT has released a new version of App Inventor, and I would need to start over if I want to continue serious development on the app.

In addition, I've learned about a new game for 2014 - Spyfall - that uses the same concept, but with a spy narrative.  So, that means that I've lost the first mover advantage on this concept.

I've decided to just put the prototype out there and let you enjoy it!

This is a 5-minute game for 4-7 players that requires an Android device.   

You can get it at the Google Play store here for free:


What about iOS?

I'm not making an IOS prototype; all I needed was one prototype to test the idea.  This is probably the end of the road for me and this project, as I'm now focused on games for learning.  Who knows; someone might want to partner with me and make this a commercial project.

I'm not doing any technical support on this.  It's a prototype, so if it works, enjoy it, and remember that apps don't have to be about staring at a screen - they can be about helping people to engage directly with each other!



First Junior Game Designers' Guild - Oct. 5

Attention Budding Game Designers!

The Manlius Public Library needs our help!

We are holding our first Junior Game Designers' Guild on Sunday, October 5th at the Manlius Public Library.

This is an meeting open to anyone under 16 years of age (and their parents, if desired).  We will be helping librarians at the Manlius Public Library come up with activities for their International Games Day @ Your Library event in November.

We will be meeting in the community room of the Manlius Public Library.  The doors will open at 1:45, and the meeting will run from 2-3pm.   No previous experience is needed - just bring a passion for games and a willingness to brainstorm new ideas!

Questions?  Contact Scott Nicholson, associate professor at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies, at




Next Game Designers' Guild meeting: Oct. 31st

It's a CosPlay Game Designers' Guild!

Come in Costume if you like to our Game Designers' Guild meeting on Oct. 31st!

We will meet in Hinds 011, and the meeting is open to all.

Plans are:

 - 5:30-6pm  Opening Game

 - 6-7pm Brainstorm about a Transformative Game

 - 7pm-Donepm Test YOUR game prototypes, so bring them along!

Questions?  Contact Scott Nicholson at


Information Space blog about BPM

There was a blog post in the iSchool's Information Space blog about what we've been doing with Because Play matters.  You can check it out at