CIL 2007 – Gaming & Libraries: Engaging Strategies – Jenny Levine

Gamers – not just teenage boys in the basement. 90 million gamers up to age 35. Boomers = 77 million, 70% once in while, 65% regularly.

Average age = 33 years. Largest percentage is middle aged women.

Wii opening up video games to a new generation. Kids with disabilities, elderly are bowling and playing baseball.

Gamers see themselves as heroes on a quest, willing to experiment and keep trying, willing to ask for help. Have an inherent distrust of bosses, beat a boss to get to the next level. “Can’t say cos I said so and I’m the boss”.

Have strong organizational skills, creative problem solvers.

Different library services:
collection development (Mario Bros memorial public library, Gaming Target, check

support materials for gaming culture (board games, graphic novels etc)

post game reviews, myspace for gamers, blog etc

Readers advisory – instead ask what movies, tv shows they like and what games they play – refer them to books about gaming – Booklist covering this

Non-video games – board games not just virtual games

Open play – buy equipment or get the kids to bring theirs in – or use Runescape sessions on internet PCs

Gaming blogs get most of the comments – check out Ann Arbor. Free online games, runescape, sepmania, 4 librarians and good experience..

Game pods – consoles in the library for use. Carver Bay Library lets kids accrue hours to play on 50 inch plasma screen – library card, book reviews, borrowing books, all help to accrue hours

Tournament play – bragging rights. Kids will even self organize them.

Bibliographic instruction – Uni North Carolina , Arizona State Uni – library board game now a flash game “Quarantined”

Game creation – hold classes on how to make games – Gwynett Public – kids are content creators, great avenue for them.

Participation gap – “confronting the challenges of participatory culture” report. Skills required for 21st worker, play, performance, simulation, multi-tasking, judgement, networking and more, all used in gaming. Machina – write a story in a game – check Bloomington, who run a film festival out of the results.

Lifelong learning

Potential gaming groups – families – DDR, Mario Kart; 20 and 30 somethings, middle-aged women – DDR and greatest generation men – WWII games, Seniors in general – Brain Age.

Nintendo DS – wireless networking between them so can play same game against each other. Has a lot of interesting learning games.

Storytime are communcal experiences. Need to think about how libraries can do the same with gaming. Check out the further reading on Jenny’s slides, to be posted at the wiki site listed at the top.