The California Myth Authority needs your help! During your normal conference routine, you'll notice clues to mysteries surrounding California history and pop culture spread out around the convention center in sessions, on the exhibit floor, and in other unexpected places. Use your librarianly skills to solve the puzzles and then bring your answers to the California Myth Authority Game HQ in the new Gaming Pavilion on the exhibit floor or text us your answers to build up your score.As more team members answer questions correctly, you can coordinate your power and claim territory throughout the state. It's a mad rush and the CMA is parceling out land in exchange for correct answers. Each hour teams will earn bonus points for controlling regions of California. Stop by the game headquarters to view the map and strategize.The team with the most points at the end of the game wins. The highest scoring player on each team will win a prize, as will three random players from the winning team who have each submitted answers. Any attendee can join a team and play for free. Sign up at wikis.ala.org/annual2008 or come by the CMA HQ. Each player will receive a team sticker so you can identify teammates and work together to find clues and solve them.
I understand that the purpose of the game is to build community among conference attendees. The idea itself has merit, but I find this part troubling (bold mine):
As more team members answer questions correctly, you can coordinate your power and claim territory throughout the state. It's a mad rush and the CMA is parceling out land in exchange for correct answers. Each hour teams will earn bonus points for controlling regions of California.
Coordinate power. Claim Territory. Mad rush. Parceling out land. Controlling regions.
The glorification of colonization, massing of capital. While framed as a game for fun, the historical parallel to the experience of Native peoples of California is (to me) glaring. I have no doubt the game developers and ALA had only good fun and good intentions in mind, but they've missed the mark, especially given their goals of increasing diversity within ALA.
Would they create a game that celebrated slavery? I don't think so. I have no doubt they want people to learn about slavery, but would they advocate that learning via a trivia game? Again, I don't think so.
The problem is, not enough people know enough about California's history---from the perspective of the indigenous people who were and are there. I think, some day, people will know, and games like this will not be developed. Getting there, though, will take a lot of study, a lot of work, and a lot of courage. Are you up for that? I hope so.