Gaming in Libraries in the News

Gaming Nite in the Malpass Library was covered by the Western Illinois University campus newspaper, The Western Courier in this article, “The library isn’t just for books anymore.” “It’s a good thing to have gaming in the library because it brings people to the building,” said Dr. Jeffrey Darensbourg, Marketing and Outreach Librarian at Malpass.

The Westfield (IN) Washington Public Library has been awarded an LSTA grant to purchase a Wii and games for multigenerational gaming.

Librarian Mr. Raroo makes a compelling case for circulating videogames on his blog.

The new teen area at the North Gloucester Branch of the Ottawa Public Library (Canada) hosts a Wii. “The whole idea of the library is that it’s more than a place to see books, it’s a community space, a meeting place…” says Lori Nash, President of the Friends of the Library.

New Jersey’s Bordentown Branch library offers a Wii Bowling Event for seniors.

Laconia NH library director Randy Brough is honored by his local paper for creating a renaissance at the LPL, that includes a 3 million dollar renovation, audiobooks, and Guitar Hero. Says Brough, “[Libraries are] maybe a little noisier than before,”  and that’s a function of the fact that a library has increasingly become “more of a community center, I think.”

If you missed Library Journal’s webcast on serving teens, it’s still available! The final speaker is Scott Nicholson, who talks about playing games vs. creating a gaming experience, discusses research on gaming in libraries, and mentions a couple of gaming resources and ALA events.

In other gaming-related news…

Game sales for Jan-May 2008 were 6.58 BILLION; it’s anticipated games sales will top 21-23 billion in the US in 2008.  With the high price of gas, people appear to be spending money on home entertainment, like games, instead, writes John Gaudiosi for Guitar Hero 3 is still outselling Rock Band almost 2:1, and althought GTA IV was the top selling game in May, Mario Kart for the Wii was a close second.

The free trial of Electronic Arts’ Spore Creature Creator is now available for Mac or Windows platform!

Nintendo has added two new titles to the WiiWare Library, Cocoto Fishing Master and Block Breaker Deluxe.

Gamer dad Torrence Davis demonstrates Scott Nicholson’s point about the games are not as important as the gaming experience. For a graduation party for his son, he offered a videogame tournament of retro games like Midways Atari Classics, Street Fighter III Second Impact, Ikaruga(DC) Super Puzzle Fighter HD, Sega Rally Revo, and more, on original PSOne, Dreamcast and Sega consoles. This translates well to a library setting. Kids can have just as good a time playing old school classics – having the newest thing isn’t as important as you might think.

Speaking of new games, both Harmonix (Guitar Hero) and Konami (DDR) will be releasing games that feature drumpads. Guitar Hero 4 and Rock Revolution are both due out this fall.