ALA Annual 2021 – GameRT Events

ALA Annual may be virtual once more this year (sorry, Chicago!), but the Games & Gaming Roundtable is excited to deliver just as much awesome. We are please to announce our annual President’s Program and our Roundtable Discussion session. We’ll talk about everything from roleplaying games to games archives — read on for more information. (And stay tuned for more info about virtual ALA Play in a separate post.)

ALA President’s Program

From From Alphie to Zelda: Preserving the History of Video Games at The Strong National Museum of Play on Friday, June 25 from 2:15-3:15 central time

What does it mean to “preserve” a video game? What are the software and hardware challenges in doing so?

Staff from The Strong in Rochester, NY, home to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games and the Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play, discuss the unique collections, preservation projects, and other initiatives that comprise the museum’s efforts to preserve the history of video games. Participants will learn ways in they can use these preservation techniques and collection development strategies to preserve video game history at their libraries.

The Strong’s International Center for the History of Electronic Games (ICHEG) collects, studies, and interprets video games, other electronic games, and related materials. At 60,000 items and growing, the collection includes games and the platforms on which they are played, game packaging and advertising, game-related publications, game-inspired consumer products and other items that illustrate the impact of electronic games on people’s lives, and personal and business papers of key individuals and companies in the electronic game industry.

The Strong’s Brian Sutton-Smith Library & Archives of Play houses important archival materials that chronicle the development of electronic and video games. These materials, which shed light on the impact electronic and video games have had on American culture, have been gathered, preserved, studied, and interpreted through the work of ICHEG. Included in the collection are personal papers, design documents, business records, and other unpublished materials that document the history of video games and other electronic games and the ways in which they affect how people play, learn, and connect with each other, including across boundaries of culture and geography.

Roundtable Discussion

“You have advantage!” — Stories about How Games and Gaming Can Improve Employability and Enrich Lives on Friday, June 25 from 3:30-4:30 PM central time

For years, employers have identified ‘soft skills’ as one of the largest deficiencies of newly hired employees. These ‘soft skills’ generally encompass communication, critical thinking, leadership, problem solving, and teamwork. All of these can be nurtured and strengthened by playing games. Libraries of all types strive to engage with their communities. By providing access to games and a space to play both of these two issues can be addressed. In this panel discussion, George Bergstrom, the Southwest Regional Coordinator in the Professional Development Office of the Indiana State Library, will talk with luminaries from the table-top role playing game (TTRPG) community to learn their stories of how games and gaming have impacted their lives and are being used in their careers.

So what are you waiting for? Favorite both of these awesome sessions today, and we will see you at ALA!

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