Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gaming in Libraries: “What Libraries Can Do for Gamers Other than Programming” – Beth Gallaway, Northwest MA Regional Library System

“What Libraries Can Do for Gamers Other than Programming” – Beth Gallaway, Northwest MA Regional Library System

Beth is our DDR queen. She took top honors in Monday night’s DDR tournament run by Eli.

Beth gave a shout out to Blogger Alley

Thanks Beth!

Seven Things You Can Do Tomorrow – To make your library more welcoming to gamers

  1. Use games to do readers advisory
  2. Be a strategy guide
  3. Embrace your inner technogeek
  4. Be flexible
  5. Plan change
  6. Immerse yourself in pop culture…especially videogame culture
  7. Try some games!

See Beth’s blog @ http://LibGaming.Blogspot.com

Games as reader’s advisory:

Instead of:
-What authors do you like to read?
-What are the last 3 books you read?
-What did you like about them?

Ask:
-What movies do you like?
-What TV shows do you watch?
-What games do you play?

Research the games and find what is appealing about the games. That will help you to make recommendations.

Beth has posted a list of suggested author based on what games they liked. She picked MMORPGs first since those are some of her favorite.

Historical simulations – On screen now is a list of “historical simulation games” and types of books that may interest players of those games.

Sports games – what kind of books would players of these like?

Strategy & Puzzle games – what kind of books would players of these like?

First Person Shooters (FPS) – what kind of books would players of these like?
Simulations (things like the Sims) – what kind of books would players of these like?

Japanese/Manga tie-in – Tie in games with popular Japanese Manga/Anime titles.

Gaming Books for Librarians:
John Beck & Mitchell Wade – “Got Game?”

James Gee – “What Video Games Have to Teach us About Learning and Literacy”

Neil Howe – “Millenials Rising: The Next Great Generation”

Henry Jenkins III & Justine Cassell – “From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games”
John Katz – “Geeks: “

Be a strategy guide:
-Don’t be a level boss – in the game world there is usually a “boss” you have to beat. Be a coach or mentor
-Show, don’t tell
-Make it interactive
-Get them started
-Have a free-for-all
-Ask for a demo of expertise – find out what your teens know and may be able to help you with. Get them involved!
-Be open minded – “non-judgemental”. Don’t make judgments about what they play.

Embrace your inner technology geek
-Upgrade – Keep up! If you can’t afford it, write a grant
-Get a screen name – Use IM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is where they are! And of course…
it’s free.
-You can’t break it
-Pilot projects
-Read tech news

Try it! This generation does not expect perfection. It’s “cool” if there is something new every week.

Be Flexible
-Change the space
-Flexible furnishings – has more than one use. “Stool, or Tray?” Gamers like to be able to control their environment. Give them options!
-Say yes. “If it starts to feel good saying no…that’s when its time to get out of the public library business.”
-Go meta. Gamers can see a wide perspective. They are attuned to details and can see a wider perspective.
-Customize. Offer different formats, different software, RSS feeds for your blog…(YES RSS, I will not quit talking about it!)

Plan Change
Have a long-range plan; be willing to change it!
-Sticky content – frequently updated, see what’s new.
-Web
-Facility
-Accept Change
-Plan

Immerse yourself in pop culture
-Know what’s hot/what’s not
-Pop goes the library
-Know about crossovers – Movies/music/games – find out what’s coming out and what related items are available.

…Especially video game culture
-Watch Red vs Blue (http://redvsblue.com/)
-Read Penny Arcade(http://pennyarcade.com/)
-View PBS’s Culture Shock You Decide: Video Games
-Skim gaming magazines
-Link to gaming websites
-Pay attention to gaming! Watch the kiosks at Wal-Mart, etc. See what people are playing!
-Join the LibGaming Google Group
-Read the blog: http://libgaming.blogspot.com/

What services from game can libraries adopt?
-24/7 access
-Free services – chat, music, articles, movies, games
-Home delivery/online content delivery
-Social bookmarking or tagging – within the library catalog (I really really want this.)
-Nonjudgement from librarians
-Avatars / immersive library tutorials
-Customizable / modifiable
-Food – we eat at our computers!
-Programs of interest to gamers (gaming fests, readers advisory/gaming tie-ins, etc)

Ok……my fingers are tired..I think this is a wrap up. Beth is finishing up what I think was a great wrap up session. Check the other blogger’s I’ve referenced and make sure you check out the pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tags/gaminginlibraries2005/


I’ll be back tonight and at work tomorrow with a lot to talk about!


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