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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Video Gaming

I attended a library co-op meeting this morning where the speaker, independent library consultant, Beth Gallaway, spoke on video gaming in libraries. I found it enlightening to hear the arguments in favor of having programs for teens and multi-generational groups using video gaming--from social interaction to creative thinking. According to Gallaway, video games are simply another literary format that libraries must carry and promote. She likened them to records, movies, television, videos, etc., all of which initially frightened book lovers, but which have come to be embraced by the public at large, and shortly thereafter, by libraries.

To learn more about video games and literacy, look for What Video Games Have to Teach Us about Learning and Literacy by James Paul Gee [794.8019 GEE]. To quickly see what gaming is all about, grab a copy of the magazine, Electric Gaming Monthly [YA MAG ELE].

An interesting sidenote: the director of the Nashua Public Library mentioned that video-gaming actually started in Nashua with the development of "Pong" at Sanders Associates. I looked it up and found that although Sanders first applied for a patent, another game had actually been developed earlier, but no patent had been applied for. Here's the story.

Three popular video games that are often used in public library programs are "Dance Dance Revolution," "Guitar Master," and "Rock Band." Social video gaming something worth investigating I think. I'd definitely like to try one or two of the games! I tried DDR last year, but I did it with a bunch of teens. It's the quickest way I know of to be made to feel like an old fart!

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