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David Lee King

MLA2006: Gaming in Libraries



David Freeman at Springfield-Greene Public Library spoke about gaming in libraries.

35% of American parents are gamers (and play WITH their kids)

12-18 year old males are the hardest group to get in the library. Gaming will do it!

Gaming adds huge credibility to your library for that age group.

Know what teens like to play – they might also like to read books or watch videos in that genre.

Suggestions on how to convice people that games are good:

  • Read this book – How to Kill Monsters. From the book – young gamers tend to be less violent… people in jails tend to have less access and exposure to media of all types. Wow.
  • Also the book – Everything Bad is Good for You

Gaming teaches social skills, reading skills, math skills, etc… it’s not just about the game itself.

Discussed the newer wII game coming out soon.

Gave a quick overview of game types, including console video games, online games like Runescape, board games, card games (ie., Yu-Gi-Oh), etc.

Incorporating games into programming:

  • fantasy gaming nights (just set up tables and chairs, and turn them loose)
  • monthly teen night – they let kids play Runescape after-hours! Some play Everquest or Neopets…
  • Console gaming – cheap wireless headphones to cut down on sound, allow them to check out games at the desk, use it to support other programs (ie., use Ace Combat in a flying program), sports on the big screen – football or racing games are both popular
  • the kids tend to self regulate themselves for time limits and other rules
  • Game swap nights – trade your games with each other… (make sure to monitor for fairness)
  • Retro gaming night (pong, pacman, etc)

Videotoaster – will run 8 Gamecubes, broadcast it, and send it to a big screen.

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