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Video Game Systems at RCLS: 10 Things

or maybe a few more...reasons to have gaming in libraries

  1. PC game franchises Warhammer , World of Warcraft, Rift and Everquest (among others) are built on rich Tolkein-like fantasy worlds, with lots of lore and story as well as elements of strategy and economy. Ask any Skyrim player and they will tell you that they have spent hours collecting books in the game world (and reading the lore).
  2. Sports games like Madden NFL  engage kids in a sport they might not otherwise play.  They can be a head coach or player, learning the intricacies of play calling and strategy. ESPN uses the game in their analysis segments.
  3. Public libraries try to include games that have an educational component to them, but at the end of the day don’t we all just wanna have fun?
  4. Games can draw patrons of all ages to the libraries. During my gaming events I always put books out that supplement the event. There are a lot of books based on video game worlds (or books on Football if I’m having a Madden tornament).
  5. Many games feature creative modding tools (PS3’s LittleBigPlanet, Neverwinter, Half Life 2). Creating a game requires knowledge of art, storytelling, programming, physics, math and music. Such tools are useful for young adults interested in video game development as a career.
  6. In tough economic times, parents are thrilled to borrow a $60 game rather than purchase it.
  7. As the digital divide widens, consider that many wouldn’t get to experience all the media the world has to offer without libraries allowing access to them.
  8. Families are gaming together in bigger numbers than ever.
  9. Many games are based on historical content. Rome: Total War has been used on the History Channel to recreate battles.
  10. The scores in many video games are original masterpieces like those by Nobuo Uematsu (Final Fantasy). The theme from Civilization IV won a Grammy Award.
  11. Escape. Drive a racecar in Forza, explore a post apocalyptic Washington DC in Fallout 3, Experience Jerusalem in Assassin’s Creed.
  12. Minecraft. Legos in digital form.
  13. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) initiatives. You have to play games in order to design them.