Games, Gaming and Libraries

My Sunday morning pre-conference workshop was presented by Aaron Schmidt and Jenny Levine.

Jenny presented first, reminding us the wide scoop that “gaming” covers – board games, computer games, online computer games such as scrabble, cell phone games, pda game etc. The stereotype that gamers are 13 year old boys sitting in their basements alone, is wrong. Sure there are 13 year old boys sitting in their basements but the average online gamer is a woman over 40.

Aaron followed up with some great information about how to hold your own gaming programs. Dance, Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero are both really popular. You can do an open play or a tournament. Open Play is easier for the staff hosting it, but might lose the interest of the players faster. It’s a good way to introduce people to the games and good for people who haven’t played before. Tournaments are more time and work intensive for staff, but people really like these.

Carver’s Bay did a gaming t0 literacy program. They included games as a part of the new branch and patrons earned time to play the games based on how much reading they did.

Ann Arbor has a great gaming program

We looked at the screen for World of Warcraft and how much information on the screen that players need to process simuntaniously and fast!

Gamers – learn by doing, they are problem solvers, they expect rewards, and believe there is no one “right” way to find an answer or solve a problem, what are we doing to get and keep their attention?

I have this note and I’m not sure who said it Aaron or Jenny but I love it – People should be on committees based not their titles but on their skills

Some thoughts I had

  • Why isn’t my library renting video games? I think I’ll bring this up. We already have Teen gaming nights
  • We need to have more gaming nights – maybe a family gaming night?
  • If we had Friday night Guitar Hero tournament for 20 or 30 somethings would we attrack some people we’re missing now, those in that age range 18-35 without children, that libraries are notoriously missing?

At the end we got to play games both on the Wii and PS2, I sucked at both Guitar Hero and Dance, Dance Revolution. I’m considering getting Guitar Hero for my PS2 when I get home since it was so much fun. I think it will be hard to beat this session!

2 thoughts on “Games, Gaming and Libraries

  1. whoo-hoo, another guitar hero convert! 🙂

    we had a lot of fun at the session, too, but seeing your post makes it a real success for me because you’re translating pieces back to your library.

    good luck with your efforts, and keep us posted on how it goes 🙂


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