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David Lee King

Gaming and Libraries: Intersections of Service – TSCPL #staffday



Jenny Levine, ALA

1850s – libraries in Britain – pool halls in libraries, 1880s early chess club in a library

2005 or so – entering Eighth Age of librarianship – a participatory age.

Redefining what we mean by reading (Second Life avatar reading a book, avatars listening to someone else read a book in SL)

Gaming has been in the library (1850s) longer than KIDS have been in the library!

“stare at the screen all day” – it’s not passive – it’s active, and two-way

“he just sits there all day long…” – balance is the issue – shouldn’t read all day, play sports all day, game all day – gaming is not the problem – balance is

What would happen if video games would have been invented before books? – books are tragically isolating… no interaction, etc (Steven Johnson quote)

“aren’t social” – video games are actually very social.

“they already play videogames at home” (Eli Neiberger) – well, why do we do storytime at the library, if you can read at home? The library adds value to it… same thing with the library and gaming. We’re one of the last non-commercial facilities out there!

“Gaming is too loud…” Our libraries are loud, too!

“Libraries are about books” – and crocheting, and music, and etc etc etc – not just books anymore

“violent video games” – 85% of games are rated for everybody

Numbers – define gaming: any type of game. Summer reading is the biggest game in the library!

Who’s a gamer? Everyone pretty much – average age of gamer – 35 – middle-aged women are the largest demographic of gamers

talking about teaching a college-level statistics course for athletes – using Madden Fantasy Football

Gaming is a social experience for teens – gamers tend to be more civically engaged than non-gamers.

Games as readers advisory (from Beth Galloway): if you like to play Halo, here’s what you might enjoy reading…

Some libraries are offering Senior Spaces that have gaming as an introduction to technology. They use the Wii or the XBox, teens show the seniors how, then the seniors move to computer tech from there.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • thethinker

    “books are tragically isolating… no interaction, etc (Steven Johnson quote)
    “aren’t social” – video games are actually very social.”

    Incrediby – you really are saying that there’s something terribly wrong with isolation, no interaction…actitivities that aren’t social, aren’t you? And that there’s only value in activities that are very social…That’s terribly unbalanced and extreme. How are we going to cultivate great minds if we don’t also place value on people taking time to be by themselves, read, think, reflect, meditate, etc.?

  • http://www.davidleeking.com/ david lee king

    I didn’t say that – it was a quote from Steven Johnson, who wrote the book “Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter” – it’s a good read.

    The quote was in reference to people who say gaming is bad because it’s anti-social. The Steven JOhnson quote was pointing out that reading books is actually a more isolating activity, because it’s less active and social than gaming tends to be.

    No – there’s nothing at all wrong with taking time to do stuff by yourself!

  • http://www.davidleeking.com david lee king

    I didn’t say that – it was a quote from Steven Johnson, who wrote the book “Everything Bad Is Good for You: How Today’s Popular Culture Is Actually Making Us Smarter” – it’s a good read.

    The quote was in reference to people who say gaming is bad because it’s anti-social. The Steven JOhnson quote was pointing out that reading books is actually a more isolating activity, because it’s less active and social than gaming tends to be.

    No – there’s nothing at all wrong with taking time to do stuff by yourself!

  • http://shelfcheck.blogspot.com/ Emily Lloyd

    I was clicking to comment how much I loved the Johnson quote [grin]. A smart reply to those who etc, etc.

    Thanks for the great notes, David!

  • http://shelfcheck.blogspot.com Emily Lloyd

    I was clicking to comment how much I loved the Johnson quote [grin]. A smart reply to those who etc, etc.

    Thanks for the great notes, David!

  • http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/ Jenny Levine

    Thanks for liveblogging my talk, David – it was great to see you. You and the rest of the TSCPL staff are doing wonderful things :)

  • http://theshiftedlibrarian.com Jenny Levine

    Thanks for liveblogging my talk, David – it was great to see you. You and the rest of the TSCPL staff are doing wonderful things :)

  • Jeff Imparato

    Maybe I’m concerned for no reason, but when I see the teens in the teen room play “Call of Duty” and hear them say “Oh, I died” after their character is killed. It appears that they are desensitized to the concept of death, because their character “lives” again to kill someone else, or die again. So they’re not concerned when they die, it just their avatar. Maybe it’s not realistic enough. Maybe there should have their buddies dragging the “dead” soldier to a pickup location, where the bloody body is put in a body bag for transport home to their grieving families.

  • Jeff Imparato

    Maybe I’m concerned for no reason, but when I see the teens in the teen room play “Call of Duty” and hear them say “Oh, I died” after their character is killed. It appears that they are desensitized to the concept of death, because their character “lives” again to kill someone else, or die again. So they’re not concerned when they die, it just their avatar. Maybe it’s not realistic enough. Maybe there should have their buddies dragging the “dead” soldier to a pickup location, where the bloody body is put in a body bag for transport home to their grieving families.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com/ joshua m. neff

    But Jeff, when I was a kid, I played Cops & Robbers or Soldiers with my friends, & we did the same thing (“Ah, you shot me! I’m dead!”–followed by falling to the ground like a sack of potatoes). How many kids of previous generations did that? And there’s no solid evidence that any of us–or kids today that play violent video games–are desensitized to violence because of that play.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com joshua m. neff

    But Jeff, when I was a kid, I played Cops & Robbers or Soldiers with my friends, & we did the same thing (“Ah, you shot me! I’m dead!”–followed by falling to the ground like a sack of potatoes). How many kids of previous generations did that? And there’s no solid evidence that any of us–or kids today that play violent video games–are desensitized to violence because of that play.

  • Jeff Imparato

    Sorry, Josh, I’m coming from a perspective of someone whose cousin was shot dead, due to gang violence. Growing up in Philadelphia in the 60s, I never played Cops & Robbers, I played Buck, Buck (yep just like Fat Albert). I also played nice-nice with my Black friends. Nice-nice is not a game, it’s a way to treat people with respect, and receiving the same.

  • Jeff Imparato

    Sorry, Josh, I’m coming from a perspective of someone whose cousin was shot dead, due to gang violence. Growing up in Philadelphia in the 60s, I never played Cops & Robbers, I played Buck, Buck (yep just like Fat Albert). I also played nice-nice with my Black friends. Nice-nice is not a game, it’s a way to treat people with respect, and receiving the same.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com/ joshua m. neff

    Jeff, I’m sorry about your cousin, but gang violence doesn’t have anything to do with video games. Poverty and violence long predate video games. I’m one of the least violent, gun-hating people you’ll ever meet. Playing violent video games doesn’t change that.

    Accusations that violent video games cause young people to become desensitized to violence are nothing new. It’s just a retread of Dr. Frederic Wertham’s argument in Seduction of the Innocent that comic books cause juvenile delinquency. An argument that turned out to be completely false.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com joshua m. neff

    Jeff, I’m sorry about your cousin, but gang violence doesn’t have anything to do with video games. Poverty and violence long predate video games. I’m one of the least violent, gun-hating people you’ll ever meet. Playing violent video games doesn’t change that.

    Accusations that violent video games cause young people to become desensitized to violence are nothing new. It’s just a retread of Dr. Frederic Wertham’s argument in Seduction of the Innocent that comic books cause juvenile delinquency. An argument that turned out to be completely false.

  • http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/ Jenny Levine

    Jeff, unsurprisingly I’m going to agree with Josh on this. In my talk, I discussed how the number of violent crimes committed by youth in this country has gone down significantly during the last 30 years. The book Grand Theft Childhood by Dr. Lawrence Kutner has helped shape my opinions on this topic, and I highly recommend it. It’s an objective examination of violence and videogames based on the most thorough research done to date on this subject. Definitely worth your time to read, but you can get some good summaries from the book’s website.

  • http://theshiftedlibrarian.com Jenny Levine

    Jeff, unsurprisingly I’m going to agree with Josh on this. In my talk, I discussed how the number of violent crimes committed by youth in this country has gone down significantly during the last 30 years. The book Grand Theft Childhood by Dr. Lawrence Kutner has helped shape my opinions on this topic, and I highly recommend it. It’s an objective examination of violence and videogames based on the most thorough research done to date on this subject. Definitely worth your time to read, but you can get some good summaries from the book’s website.

  • davidleeking

    Even better Jeff – we have the book in our collection.

  • davidleeking

    Even better Jeff – we have the book in our collection.

  • Jeff Imparato

    I don’t want to read the book, it would confuse me with the facts, and I’ve already made up my mind. Actually, in my original post, I prefaced my post with “Maybe I’m concerned for no reason” and my esteemed colleagues in the Library field have convinced me that I have no reason to be concerned.

    Thanks a lot guys, I just got my mind fixed, and now I have to change it.

  • Jeff Imparato

    I don’t want to read the book, it would confuse me with the facts, and I’ve already made up my mind. Actually, in my original post, I prefaced my post with “Maybe I’m concerned for no reason” and my esteemed colleagues in the Library field have convinced me that I have no reason to be concerned.

    Thanks a lot guys, I just got my mind fixed, and now I have to change it.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com/ joshua m. neff

    Jeff, it is so nice and refreshing to have an intelligent, respectful discussion and airing of issues in the comments of a blog. Thank you.

  • http://www.goblin-cartoons.com joshua m. neff

    Jeff, it is so nice and refreshing to have an intelligent, respectful discussion and airing of issues in the comments of a blog. Thank you.

  • thethinker

    “books are tragically isolating… no interaction, etc (Steven Johnson quote)
    “aren’t social” – video games are actually very social.”

    Incrediby – you really are saying that there's something terribly wrong with isolation, no interaction…actitivities that aren't social, aren't you? And that there's only value in activities that are very social…That's terribly unbalanced and extreme. How are we going to cultivate great minds if we don't also place value on people taking time to be by themselves, read, think, reflect, meditate, etc.?