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Beyond a Fad: Why Video Games Should Be Part of 21st Century Libraries.

Published on Sep 19, 2017in Education Libraries
· DOI :10.26443/el.v35i1-2.342
Kym Buchanan1
Estimated H-index: 1
Angela M. Vanden Elzen1
Estimated H-index: 1
We believe video games have a place in libraries. We start by describing two provocative video games. Next, we offer a framework for the general mission of libraries, including access, motivation, and guidance. As a medium, video games have some distinguishing traits: they are visual, interactive, and based on simulations. We explain how these traits require and reward some traditional and new literacies. Furthermore, people play video games for at least three reasons: immersion, challenge, and connection. Finally, we offer guidelines and examples for how librarians can integrate video games into library collections and programming. Introduction Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional. -Glenda Cloud We live and work with change. New and evolving media and technology affect our jobs, politics, recreations, relationships, children, and more. We face an endless flood of gadgets and wizardry: iPads, smartphones, Facebook, Twitter, e-books, Wikipedia, video games, etc. This flood can be confusing and intimidating. Libraries and librarians can play vital roles in helping patrons live and work with change. In this article, we'll explore one area of evolving media and tech: video games. We believe video games have a place in libraries, and thus librarians should try to understand the nature of video games, especially why people play video games. Games illustrate powerful phenomena in media and tech, including interactivity and immersion. Now is a good time for librarians to explore video games. Recently, the United States Supreme Court considered arguments about the nature and possible effects of video games. The Court applied First Amendment protection to video games: "Like protected books, plays, and movies, they communicate ideas through familiar literary devices and features distinctive to the medium" (Brown v. EMA, 2011). The Court prevented California from restricting the sale of video games to minors. Their decision effectively halted similar efforts in other states. However, Justices writing both in the majority and minority acknowledged that the nature and possible effects of a new medium like video games can be poorly understood. For example, Justice Scalia recounted our nation's past confusion and alarm about the possible harm to minors caused by penny dreadfuls (lurid novels), movies, and comic books (Brown v. EMA, 2011). As a society, we live and work with phenomena like interactivity and immersion, so we should explore and discuss the possible advantages and risks, especially the possible harms to minors. Libraries and librarians can and should be part of this exploration and discussion. Fortunately, librarians don't need to be avid "gamers" to learn about video games and to appreciate the place video games could have in libraries. However, librarians may need to learn more about the appeal of video games. There is an endless variety of new games and kinds of games, and this flood isn't likely to ebb. In this article we won't try to catalog the flood. Rather, we hope to equip librarians with a better understanding of the nature and appeal of video games. What are the distinctive features of the medium? How do games communicate ideas? First, we'll describe two examples of provocative video games. Second, we'll describe the possible roles of libraries during changing times. Third, we'll explore why people play video games. Fourth, we'll explore how video games can be part of libraries, with specific suggestions.
Figures & Tables
  • References (12)
  • Citations (7)
Published on Oct 14, 2013
Roland Barthes49
Estimated H-index: 49
Richard Howard5
Estimated H-index: 5
In his story Sarrasine Balzac, describing a castrato disguised as a woman, writes the following sentence: ‘This was woman herself, with her sudden fears, her irrational whims, her instinctive worries, her impetuous boldness, her fussings, and her delicious sensibility.’ Who is speaking thus? Is it the hero of the story bent on remaining ignorant of the castrato hidden beneath the woman? Is it Balzac the individual, furnished by his personal experience with a philosophy of Woman? Is it Balzac the...
We believe that Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham can be an inspirational guidebook for teachers trying to reach reluctant learners. Green Eggs offers lessons to teachers and learners at every level—early childhood, K-12, and higher education. For the past decade, Perry has started his science education methods courses with a read aloud of Green Eggs. Perry’s students are pre-service teachers majoring in Early Childhood, Elementary, or Secondary Education. Each year about one hundred and fifty novi...
Published on Jan 1, 2010
Ulla G. Foehr8
Estimated H-index: 8
Victoria J. Rideout6
Estimated H-index: 6
Donald F. Roberts20
Estimated H-index: 20
Published on Feb 25, 2007
David Williamson Shaffer30
Estimated H-index: 30
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison),
James Paul Gee53
Estimated H-index: 53
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Foreword: Seeing the Future J.P.Gee Introduction Epistemology: The Debating Game Knowledge: The Digital Zoo Skills: Escher's World Values: The Pandora Project Identity: Beyond the Industrial School: The Future of Education and How We Get There
Published on Nov 1, 2006in Educational Researcher 3.39
Kurt Squire36
Estimated H-index: 36
(UW: University of Wisconsin-Madison)
Interactive immersive entertainment, or videogame playing, has emerged as a major entertainment and educational medium. As research and development initiatives proliferate, educational researchers might benefit by developing more grounded theories about them. This article argues for framing game play as a designed experience. Players’ understandings are developed through cycles of performance within the gameworlds, which instantiate particular theories of the world (ideological worlds). Players ...
Published on Jan 1, 2005
Lisa L. Galarneau3
Estimated H-index: 3
(University of Waikato)
A chorus of proclamations have arisen in recent years about the potential of games and simulations to facilitate learning. Yet few discussions focus on the fundamental issue surrounding the implementation of games and simulations: to what learning objectives and pedagogical strategies are they most relevant? Through an examination of perspectives on the suitability of games for learning, as well as recent examples of digital game-based training in two vocational settings, this paper examines the...
Published on Sep 25, 2003
Katie Salen3
Estimated H-index: 3
Eric Zimmerman3
Estimated H-index: 3
This text offers an introduction to game design and a unified model for looking at all kinds of games, from board games and sports to computer and video games. Also included are concepts, strategies, and methodologies for creating and understanding games.
Cited By7
Published on Aug 13, 2018
Anna Neatrour3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UofU: University of Utah),
Elizabeth Callaway3
Estimated H-index: 3
(UofU: University of Utah),
Rebekah Cummings2
Estimated H-index: 2
(UofU: University of Utah)
Purpose This paper aims to determine if the digital humanities technique of topic modeling would reveal interesting patterns in a corpus of library-themed literature focused on the future of libraries and pioneer a collaboration model in librarian-led digital humanities projects. By developing the project, librarians learned how to better support digital humanities by actually doing digital humanities, as well as gaining insight on the variety of approaches taken by researchers and commenters to...
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to describe how the Hudson County Community College Library hosted a Super Smash Bros. for Wii U Tournament as part of its Fall 2015 and Spring 2016 programming, and discuss what it learned from hosting the event. Design/methodology/approach This paper details how a community college library planned, hosted and learned from its experience running a Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U Tournament. It will also describe how the library continued to use this experien...
Published on Oct 19, 2015
Ioanna Ersi Pervolaraki1
Estimated H-index: 1
(AHLEI: American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute),
Emmanouel Garoufallou7
Estimated H-index: 7
(AHLEI: American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute)
+ 2 AuthorsSirje Virkus10
Estimated H-index: 10
(TU: Tallinn University)
The goal of this paper is to provide a systematic review of the literature on the adoption of video games by educational institutions and libraries in order to facilitate learning and literacy including information literacy among adolescents and young adults. Relevant documents published in a variety of databases between 2003 and 2015 were identified and analyzed. The literature review was organized around five emerging areas: video game literacy, video games in education, game design benefits, ...
Published on Jan 1, 2015in The Journal of Library Innovation
Carolyn Bishoff2
Estimated H-index: 2
Shannon L. Farrell4
Estimated H-index: 4
Amy Neeser1
Estimated H-index: 1
Sustainable and effective library video game services can be a challenge to develop and maintain. The University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Libraries explored two common services among academic libraries—a game collection and undergraduate gaming events—and decided to host two game nights as a pilot program. The events were poorly attended, and a subsequent analysis of the unsuccessful events led to a different and innovative approach to supporting games-related research and teaching, base...
Published on Jan 1, 2015
Plamen Miltenoff3
Estimated H-index: 3
(SCSU: St. Cloud State University)
Edward Schneider1
Estimated H-index: 1
(USF: University of South Florida)
Abstract Objective – The objective of this study was to survey American public libraries about their collection and use of graphic novels and compare their use to similar data collected about video games. Methods – Public libraries were identified and contacted electronically for participation through an open US government database of public library systems. The libraries contacted were asked to participate voluntarily. Results – The results indicated that both graphic novels and video games hav...