Friday, November 03, 2006

Runescape Discussion Group

Runescape discussion group at Lackman Branch Library in Johnson County, Kansas Chris Koppenhaver, Youth Services Librarian, gathered Runescape players together to exchange information, swap stories and brag. Chris describes the event in his own words at http://www.ckls.org/gaming/runelackman.html

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

I had to share that I too play runescape. I play at home though. My husband and I both play, sometimes at the same time. He does travel quite a bit and when he gets a chance he gets on line at runescape and we do quests together or just chat while we are building our skills. His mother (in her middle 50's) has been playing runescape for a few years now. My husband and I have been playing at the longest 6 months.

When we see his mother we spend quite a bit of time talking about runescape. I know this sounds funny, but in a way it's brought him and his mom a little closer, as well as her and I.

I really like the fact that you have the option to turn off the public chat. Also, it has a great filter for not allowing bad and offensive language. There is so much to do in this game that when you get bored with one thing you don't have to go far before something else will interest you.

Barbara K said...

We hae quite a few avid Runescape players at our public library. We have thought of turning a small office into a "gaming" area.

Have other libraries done this?

Thanks,
Barbara Keef
WindhamPublic LIbrary
Windham, Maine

Dave J. said...

The Teen Department here At the Westhampton Free Library has been holding a Runescape Club for a couple of months. I have been playing the game for a few years, and have a moderately high level character. The club meets 2 Saturdays a month after the library closes, and I get anywhere from 12 to 20 teens. It is easily my most successful teen program, since I've been here. It is a great way to get to know the teens and show them the library can be a fun place to visit.

Dave J. said...

The Teen Department here At the Westhampton Free Library has been holding a Runescape Club for a couple of months. I have been playing the game for a few years, and have a moderately high level character. The club meets 2 Saturdays a month after the library closes, and I get anywhere from 12 to 20 teens. It is easily my most successful teen program, since I've been here. It is a great way to get to know the teens and show them the library can be a fun place to visit.

Anonymous said...

I hate to be the "bad guy" here, but is this what libraries need to be involved with? Are there not better uses of the Internet for the public library to uphold. Where does this end?

Beth Gallaway said...

Hi Anonymous!

Thanks -- the is a valid question :) We shouldn't do things in our libraries thoughtlessly, and have to consider many factors before adding new services, like gaming.

It's dangerous to get into the business of making judgments about the recreational, educational and informational pursuits of our patrons. Where do we draw the line? Should be not allow email, because it's frivolous and recreational? Only allow computer use for "serious" research?

I think libraries are about stories and information, in all formats -- not just text. Runescape is digital narrative storytelling - the player is the protagonist! And there is TONS of information seeking/gathering/evaluating that happens within the game. One school is using Runescape in a unit on medieval times, because the setting of the game allows your character to hone skills of that time period. For some users, a 3-D digital interactive environment is more compelling that reading a text on the same topic.

I do know one major issue with Runescape in some libraries is crowd control/behavior -- kids playing get excited, and loud, and since gaming is social, they talk about what they are doing and coach one another through the tricky parts. Creating a program or club around the game focuses their attention and creates an environment that fosters socialization and mentoring. Plus, you can consider limiting play to club times: Friday afternoons only, say.

Where does "it" end? I'm not sure what you mean by "it," but I DO know that if we don't keep up with our users and continue working to decrease the digital divide by allowing access to sites like Runescape (sites that hone skills useful in school and business, like working in a group, strategic planning, and managing a budget and inventory), then we-- LIBRARIES--will be at an END.

Please respond! This could be a very interesting discussion. I'd love to hear from other librarians supporting and encouraging Runescape at their libraries.