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Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Some folks figured out the ideal mmorpg (massive multiplayer online role playing game) for girls; see them listed at Youth Horse Sim Games. Yeah, it’s a stereotype, but Kailee sure loves them, and I love the disclaimer that “All Sim Games on this page must be designed and maintained by YOUTH.” There’s some content generation, rather than just one-way consumption, for you.
Multiple readers sent me the link to The Video Game Librarian article on Gaming Target and its subsequent follow-up, Six Months Later. Circulating titles is only one small slice of my gaming for libraries pie, but they’re good reads, and I agree that circulating one of the main formats for YA content is a valid library service.
Letting kids (and adults!) play games in the library is also a slice of the gaming pie, so naturally I think public, academic, and in certain contexts even school libraries, should follow the lead of the Neosho/Newton County Library in Missouri!
Library Filling a ‘Niche’
“Murphy practices his bargaining power on the computers at the Neosho/Newton County Library. The library staff has opened the computer lab to teens to play the game three times a week because of increased interest in games and the influx of young adults using the computers.
Jerry Parker, systems administrator, said the library has made many changes over the years to fit the growing needs of its patrons. Additionally, since library patrons are allowed only two, one-hour sessions each day, the increased demand was tying up terminal space during peak periods.
Parker said that when he learned that the games, such as RuneScape, that the teens played involved going on adventures rather than violence, it made him see things differently. And as they wait for a free computer, they might pick up a book too, Parker said.
He said he also learned that other libraries were offering similar opportunities for youths.
‘We're filling a niche, especially with school out,’ Parker said. ‘A library is about access to knowledge. It used to be a book is a book is a book, but today we have computers and DVDs.’
For Murphy, playing the games may be his motivation for walking the 30 minutes each way to the library - he has three brothers at home fighting for use of the computer - but it's not his only purpose in making the trek. He said he also checks out about 10 items each visit, from books and audiotapes to digital video discs
‘I like to read, but I don't like it enough to walk to the library for no other reason than to get a book,’ he said. ‘Sometimes you forget you're at a library.’ ” [The Joplin Globe, via All About Runescape]
The Bloomington Public Library is continuing to lead the way in Illinois by hosting a program about gaming and libraries!
Thinking Inside the Box: Games, Teens and Libraries - Bloomington Public Library
“Are video games and their related programs the next hot trend? Bloomington Public Library has a good track record in this area and is keen to share their experience. Join Matt Gullett, Lori Bell and Diane Colletti as they explore the issue and potential partnerships.”
Time: 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM
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