WIG Playthrough: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

WIG Playthrough: Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Last Friday, WIG hosted a Playthrough event in the CMP featuring the game Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes. 

This game was played on the Vive, a virtual reality system which allowed one player to become immersed in a room with a bomb where they must describe what they see in order to diffuse it before time runs out. Everyone else has the bomb’s instructions and must teach the player how to diffuse it without being able to see what is happening.

Every student who attended this event got a turn with the Vive to try to defuse the bomb. Overall, students effectively communicated and were able to stop the bomb from blowing up, but on a few more difficult levels, they were unsuccessful. It was especially hard when memory was required on both parts – sometimes the bomb diffuser would have to remember a sequence of colors or numbers, and the instructors would have to remember both the diffuser’s sequence in addition to another sequence that corresponded with it. These portions, in particular, caused several bombs to explode.

Students also had the chance to share their input on virtual reality games like this one and how they might be applied to life outside of the video game setting.

In response to the first question, “Can simulated cooperative puzzle solving help teach effective communication?” one student wrote: “Yes, especially when we take turns being the bomb diffuser because some people are more likely to take charge with instructions and others are good at physically doing the puzzles so everyone gets a chance to communicate and participate.”

To the second question, “Does the simulated urgency effectively teach communication under pressure? Can this be applied to other real-world situations (e.g. the ER?)” students were a little more on the fence. One student wrote: “I think the fact that it’s a team effort and the goal is to have fun actually lessens the experience of doing a task under pressure because I was trying to not contribute too much because I wanted everyone to participate and have fun. [In real life] in an emergency, you care about getting it done, not everyone getting to participate.”

This event had high attendance and was a great use of the CMP space and equipment. To book this space, simply contact Dan Bennett, CMP Media Producer, at dbennett@smith.edu. You can also join Joce and Tori in the KnowledgeLab on Tuesdays 12-2 and Thursdays 2-5 for their gaming open hours. This is just the first of several playthrough events WIG plans to host this year with a variety of games. Ellie Danford, club president of the Smith Gaming Club, voiced interest in collaborating with WIG next semester, as well.

WIG Playthrough Event

WIG Playthrough Event

Join Women in Gaming, Smith’s Experiential Learning Through Gameplay Student-led Research Interest Group, on December 1st from 1:00-3:00pm at the CMP for our first Playthrough Event! The CMP is located in Henshaw D, behind Helen Hills Hills Chapel. At this event, WIG will be playing our new VR game, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes, which is a multiplayer game in which one person can see the bomb and not the manual, and another person can see the manual and not the bomb, and must instruct the other person how to deactivate it.

This game will be played on the Vive, which is totally immersive virtual reality gaming system where the game replaces your surroundings, and controllers act as your hands. The game play will be followed by a discussion on the game and other topics of interest for members of WIG and anyone else with questions or ideas. Everyone is welcome!

Here’s my Library Day in the KnowledgeLab

Here’s my Library Day in the KnowledgeLab

Thursday, October 12th was Here’s my Library Day at all the Smith Libraries across campus. The KnowledgeLab was one of the hosting locations of this event and provided refreshments and activities as well as all the resources already offered.

Libraries student assistant Adriana Valerio ‘AC helps students make a sticker using the vinyl cutter. Photo credit: Brendan O’Connell

Students learned how to make stickers with our vinyl cutter by first choosing an icon, printing it with the vinyl cutter, and then prepping it before sticking it to a surface. We had a lot of fun with this, and made a variety of stickers from dogs to shrimp, which we used to decorate students’ water bottles as well as the walls. The vinyl cutter is available to use whenever a staff member is there, which is currently on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons. If you would like to schedule an appointment to be trained on or use the vinyl cutter, feel free to contact Tori Clayton at vclayton@smith.edu.

Students set up the KnowledgeLab gaming laptop for open gaming. Photo credit: Brendan O’Connell

Another big hit was our gaming laptop connected to the Apple TV. This allowed us to play games that the Women in Gaming group had purchased for the laptop. We played several multiplayer games and one that was single player, but were still able to collaborate by connecting to the large Apple TV screen. The laptop is always available to use during the KnowledgeLab’s open hours, and controllers and headphones are available to check out at the service desk in the hall.

We hope this event demonstrated more possibilities for the KnowledgeLab, and encourage students to continue to use the space to study, create, and play games!

Women in Gaming

Women in Gaming

Image credit: yolokas https://yolokas.deviantart.com/
Interested in Gaming?
Join us in the KnowledgeLab on Friday, November 3rd at 1:00pm for the next meeting of the KnowledgeLab’s new Experiential Learning Through Gameplay Student-led Research Interest Group –
This group is for anyone with an interest in a range of possibilities in the world of gaming, from researching certain topics within games, such as the typical portrayal of women, to more about women in the gaming industry.
Games we have purchased for the Knowledge Lab include:

We would love to hear more suggestions or ideas about what this group could entail. If at all interested, please join us at our next meeting or contact Tammy Lockett with questions at tlockett@smith.edu. For more information, visit our website at https://sophia.smith.edu/women-in-gaming/

Prototyping Cart!

Prototyping Cart!

Thanks to Alex Widstrand ’17, a senior Engineering major and Design Thinking Initiative student, there is now a brand new prototyping cart for students to use in the KnowledgeLab. This cart has an assorted supply of useful and creative items, from colored pencils, glue sticks, and scissors to balloons, yarn, and Legos.


Alex worked with the KnowledgeLab staff to order the materials and assemble the cart. “As a student worker for the Design Thinking Initiative, one of the main projects I’m working on is enabling students across campus to have access to prototyping materials,” says Alex. She clarifies that absolutely everyone can use the materials in the cart.

Alex says that “one of the biggest parts of the design thinking approach to problem-solving is prototyping, in order to test how a user interacts with your design. We want everyone to have access to the materials and tools they need to build and test their ideas.”

Another interesting aspect about the cart is that it will most likely be constantly changing. Some standard materials will probably remain in supply, but “other things change due to popularity, availability, or even what other people contribute to the cart,” says Alex. “That’s part of what makes prototyping interesting – there is always something new and inspiring to work with.”


Alex encourages students to suggest materials they might want to see in the prototyping cart, though it will ultimately depend on what is affordable. She also pointed out that if students are looking for more advanced technologies to use, “our laser cutter, 3D printer, vinyl cutter, and 3D-printing pens can be found in Capen Annex.”

The honor system is in place here as the materials are left out in the KnowledgeLab, so we hope that students will return reusable items, especially glue guns, Legos, scissors, etc. “Since we don’t yet have a system in place for checking things out, we hope students are considerate of others; however, it would be possible in the future to move toward a system for checking items in and out for use elsewhere, similar to the Center for Media and Production.”

I for one am super excited to test out all the new materials now available. If you ever need a new space for drawing, knitting, crafting, or any other creative outlet you can think of, the KnowledgeLab is now the perfect place to do it. Alex recommends that other students suggest their ideas for the space through the KnowledgeLab mini-grants program. “All in all, I think it was a fairly straightforward process; I would definitely encourage other students to submit ideas or suggestions for ways to improve the space even further. It never hurts to ask!”


About the Author:

Tori Clayton is a Junior at Smith College who is majoring in both English and Music. She is a Libraries Project Assistant in Neilson Library.

MOVE! Move your body, move your mind.

MOVE! Move your body, move your mind.

On Thursday, December 1st, the KnowledgeLab hosted its first student mini-grant project: MOVE! Move your body, move your mind, by Emily Jackson ’18. Thanks to Emily’s idea, the KnowledgeLab purchased a FitDesk stationary bike, elliptical trainer, and several portable pedaler exercise machines for students to use in the library when they study.

Photo: Tori Clayton
Photo: Shishi Shomloo

Everyone that came to the event enjoyed trying out all of the different equipment. The elliptical pedaler was a big hit, though the FitDesk, shown below, was said to be the easiest to use while studying or writing on a laptop. Students were also pretty excited about the pedaler machines shown above. It was fun to witness them pedaling while they chatted or read.

Photo: Shishi Shomloo

These exercise machines are free for all students to use, and have already been utilized in the past few weeks. A huge thank you goes out to Emily, whose creative idea and determination to make it a reality made it all possible. If you have an idea for the KnowledgeLab space and need funding, it’s super easy to apply for a KnowledgeLab grant! It only takes 5 minutes to Propose a Project – grants of up to $500 are available to students, faculty, classes, and student orgs for projects on the themes of knowledge creation, knowledge sharing, and the future of libraries and campus learning spaces, including pop-up installations, events, and more.

About the Author:

Tori Clayton is a Junior at Smith College who is majoring in both English and Music. She is a Libraries Project Assistant in Neilson Library.

Knowledge Lab Furniture Poll

Knowledge Lab Furniture Poll

How do students want to study in the KnowledgeLab?

Now that the KnowledgeLab has been open to students for a few months, we’re starting to consider how we can improve the furniture options in the space to make it more usable and comfortable for our campus community.

For the past two weeks, a poll was left on the whiteboards in the Knowledge Lab asking students about their opinions on new furniture. Our first questions asked whether students would exercise while they study if given the opportunity, and whether they prefer cozy beanbags or sturdy office chair seating.

Here are the results:


We found that almost everyone was open to exercising while they study.

This feedback will help us in purchasing furniture like treadmill desks, where students can walk as they work on their laptops or use the desk space.


The opinion on chairs was a little more split. Several people voted for office chairs and several others for beanbags, but many commented that they liked the current chairs in the Knowledge Lab, which are fairly rigid. Another student commented that office chairs with thick cushions would be preferred, so this might be the best way to compromise when buying new seating.

Our next questions asked about preferred color schemes and communal vs. isolated seating. Here’s what we found:


Interestingly, far more people wanted isolated seating instead of communal seating.

There were also a lot of helpful requests like “chairs with lumbar support” and “more red bean bags and little tables please” that we can take into consideration when we decide on which chairs to buy.


According to our second poll, more people liked cool colors better than warm colors. Others had their own suggestions such as “natural light” and “light colored wood” which are other aspects that can be important to a particular color scheme. Cool colors and lighter woods seem to be the direction we should take after this poll.

Subscribe to this blog for updates on new furniture purchases in the KnowledgeLab, and submit a project proposal if you have ideas for projects, furniture, or technology for the KnowledgeLab!

About the Author:

Tori Clayton is a Junior at Smith College who is majoring in both English and Music. She is a Libraries Project Assistant in Neilson Library.