Monday, December 31, 2007

Video Games Make History in 2007

12/31/07, BBC News

"The last 12 months have been one of the best years in video game history, both critically and commercially." Judges pick out the best games of the year.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Help Form an ALA Games and Gaming Member Interest Group

Please take a moment to show your support for Scott Nicholson's initiative to start a Gaming and Gamer Member Interest Group of ALA!

Petition online at
Print, sign, get your friends to sign, and mail to the address on the form - ASAP!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Literary Festival in Second Life

Stay tuned to the literary festival in Second Life and Teen Second Life to be held on Saturday, February 2 from 4am PST until 6pm PST. Games such as scavenger hunts with literary clues and solve the murder mystery game will be part of the events. Next planning meeting scheduled is Sunday, January 6 at 12p PST. IM Teofila Matova or BlueWings Hayek for a teleport. Join the googlegroup here.

Video Game Voters Network and Facebook

Video Game Voters Network 12/20/07
"The Video Game Voters Network (VGVN) is committed to raising awareness of the fight against video game regulation where ever we can. That's why we've launched a Facebook page, to help spread the word in this increasingly popular social networking site."

Member Interest Group on Games and Gaming

Scott Nicholson is interested in starting an ALA Member Interest Group on Games and Gaming.

The group's charge is:
To engage those interested in games and gaming activities in libraries and to collaborate with ALA units to support gaming initiatives and programs across the Association. Games, as defined in their broadest sense to include traditional and modern board, card, video, mobile, computer, live-action, roleplaying and miniature games, and gaming activities, including planning and running gaming programs, providing games for informal play, developing a game collection, creating games, development of information and other literacies through games and partnering with other community organizations to support gaming, will be topics for professional exploration. This group is open to all members.

100 signatures of ALA members are needed here in the next few weeks.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Create Your Own Avatar! Contest

There is still time to enter YALSA's Create Your Own Avatar Contest. Contest submissions will be unveiled at YALSA's 3rd Annual Gaming Extravaganza. Attendees at the Extravaganza will vote on the entries and the winner will be announced during the event. Even if you don't have the chance to attend the Extravaganza you can still enter. In other words attendance at the Extravaganza is not required in order to enter.

The winner will receive $100 in books and will be interviewed for a YALSA article and press release.

For more information on the contest and to learn how to enter read the Create Your Own Avatar Contest Guideline available at

Thursday, December 13, 2007

YALSA Offers Mini-Grants for Teen Tech Week!

The Young Adult Library Services Association is offering, thanks to sponsor Wizards of the Coast, TWENTY grants of $450 + promotional materials for Teen Tech Week (March 2008) programs! Want to buy a console for your teen room, and lack the money? Enroll half a dozen kids in a Youth Digital Arts Cyber School class? Buy land in Teen Second Life? COnsider applying!

Details at

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Merriam-Webster's word of the year is "w00t!" Further proof that gaming is ubiquitous and invading pop culture. Full article at:

Monday, November 19, 2007

Rise of the Videogame

This Wednesday, Nov. 21 starts the first of the five part series by the Discovery Channel on The Rise of the Videogame

Level one:
The video game started not with a bang, but with a ping. Where did simple games like Pong and PacMan come from? And how did these global phenomenons usher in the videogame revolution?

Level two:
In the late '70s, early '80s, video games gained their face. Game creators became more liberated to create more complex video games and icons like Mario and Zelda began to give way to grittier characters. Learn how video game technology has evolved.

Level three:
Video games go 3-D, but the details they capture in the new virtual worlds are both awe-inspiring and disturbingly realistic. Critics begin to question if games are becoming too real, too violent, too addictive. Game designers begin wrestling with ethics.

Level four:
"God Games" begin simulating entire worlds and allow players to experiment with sometimes troubling cause and effect. Artificial intelligence creates lifelike characters and opens up opportunities for new learning tools and for artistic expression.

Level five:
Can a computer game make you cry? Games gain an emotional dimension, interpersonal connection, and Hollywood worthy story lines as they evolve and move onto the Web. What do these virtual world games tell us about the way we live in the 21st century?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How Violent Video Games are Exemplary Agression Teachers

11/14/07, Science Daily
"Students who played multiple violent video games actually learned through those games to produce greater hostile actions and aggressive behaviors over a span of six months, researchers have found."

Friday, November 02, 2007

Girl Gaming by Ubisoft

Ubisoft, the developers of Prince of Persia, Rayman, and Beyond Good and Evil, have a new line of games for the DS designed specifically for girls. Each game lets girls explore the things they like to do, and focuses on a related career. You can choose from babysitting, fashion designer, animal doctor, or chef. I've not been able to play these games yet, but I'm curious about your opinions about this.

Do you think that girl gamers will like these games? Would you have played one when you were younger?

If you have a chance ask you teen girls what they think of these games I'm really curious about the reaction girls will have to this.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available


A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available at:

Also, several new surveys are available for current MMORPG players. You can participate at:

As the number of MMOs and MMO portals increase, your help in publicizing the link to the current surveys goes a long ways in sustaining this line of research. Any help is much appreciated.

Also, if you run into any errors, typos, or are confused by anything in the surveys, please email me to let me know.

Nick Yee

Monday, October 01, 2007

A quick guide to Gaming and Libraries

"Here’s a quick guide to some of the resources available related to the gaming in libraries meme."

Library of Congress to Preserve Virtual Worlds

by Guy Lamolinara, Library of Congress, 8/3/07
"The Preserving Virtual Worlds project will explore methods for preserving digital games and interactive fiction. Major activities will include developing basic standards for metadata and content representation and conducting a series of archiving case studies for early video games, electronic literature and Second Life, an interactive multiplayer game. Second Life content participants include Life to the Second Power, Democracy Island and the International Spaceflight Museum."

Cinema Gamr

Check out this site whose goal is to collect video game cinematics (basically "the in-game generated movie that is used in video games to help tell a story, further a plot, guide a user to view or do something or a way to show of in-game features").

Monday, September 24, 2007

Halo 3

c|net 9/24/07
Halo 3 goes on sale Tuesday, September 25.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Guild Cafe

Social networking outside of the game. Sign up on this Cambridge, MA based site to socialize with other gamers!

Friday, September 07, 2007

The Game of Life

by Constance Steinkuehler, Ottawa Citizen, 09/03/07
"Online gaming is far from the anti-intellectual, anti-social time waster it is commonly thought to be."
Constance writes about how virtual worlds and online games are significant in teaching 21st century skills such as, "collaboration, inquiry, argumentation, media literacy (not just critical consumption but also production), and the ability to productively participate in the negotiation of shared meaning and values with folks that don't always look or live or view the world just like you." She has some good things to say about librarians too!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

de blob

Another exclusive from the Penny Arcade Expo. Coming in 2008, THQ is going to release a new game called de blob.

The game involves painting buildings, in a city that has lost all its color. Players are a paint blob, that can bounce onto buildings thus adding color. Starting with a primary color, you can add other paints to alter your coloring.

The demo I played had balanced wii mote controls, and was easy to learn. I didn't see much of a plot to the game, or goal, but I''m assuming this will be a fun game once completed.

Recently there was a independent PC game titled de Blob created by students to showcase a region of the Netherlands. I believe this is a remake of this title. See the video below created by Joystiq

Rock Band

Its singstar meets guitar hero + drums

Coming November 20th, Harmonix and MTV Games are releasing a new music/rhythm game that involves karaoke, lead and bass guitar, and drums.

It should be avaliable for PS2, PS3, Xbox360, and possibly Wii

This would make a great library program. For more information check out the wikipedia page about the game, or dig around on the official site.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Get Money for Gaming at your Library!

The MacArthur Foundation has announced a public competition for a piece of $2 million in funding to emerging leaders, communicators, and innovators shaping the field of digital media and learning. The competition is part of MacArthur's $50 million digital media and learning initiative that aims to help determine how digital technologies are changing the way young people learn, play, socialize, and participate in civic life . . .
Awards will be issued in two categories: Knowledge-Networking Awards (of between $30,000-$75,000) and Innovation Awards ($100,000 and $250,000). Read the details about the competition at the website at:

Thanks to Brian Myers, Wilmette Public Library for the heads up!

The Future of Gaming

What does the future of gaming look like? Handheld devices? Immersive PC games like Civ VI on consoles at last? Playing Wii Sports in real time against a friend halfway around the world? Nah, says the Escapist: the future is casual.

Check out the take in issue #110: The Future of Gaming, at:

Monday, August 06, 2007

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Thursday, August 02, 2007

State of Play Revived!

And, it's happening in a little over 2 weeks! It's not too late to register:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

LibCamp in Boston, Saturday July 28

What is LibCamp Boston?

It's a FREE unconference Barcamp-style...focused on web 2.0, new media, and libraries... Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn is welcome and invited to come!

Come, share your stuff, and learn in an open environment.

Help plan a larger unconference in the Boston area in the coming months and/or help develop a local library 2.0 group where those focusing on new media and libraries can meet up, share their stuff, and answer the question: What are you doing in your library...?

We hope this will be an intense day filled with discussions, demos, presentations, and spirited interactions among all who attend.

When & Where?

July 28th, 10 am- 4pm : the McKim Conference Room, Boston Public Library, Boston, MA

Cost: FREE.

How to get started:

  • Register for FREE. There is no cost to attend.
  • Promote - tell friends, colleagues, and associates- spread the word
  • Sessions - anyone is free to participate & present. Sign up for/Suggest a session now!

Elizabeth Lane Lawley, RIT Lab for Social Computing "Games Without Borders: Gaming Beyond Consoles and Screens

Lots of technical difficulties. Elizabeth was good humored if frustrated and showed non computer games
  • Reverse Scavenger Hunt
  • Cruel 2 B Kind
  • Passively Multiplayer Online Games
  • Yu-Gi-Oh & Pokemon tournaments
Games create opportunities for discussion and encourage creativity.

We need to take a leadership role in making sure that gaming horror stories are not at the top of the Google search results list.

She left us with a very empowering message: help other people understand that games are not bad. Tell them stories, don't cite statistics.

Everyone Loves the Wii!

Everyone Loves the Wii!
Originally uploaded by gizwomack
For those not at Gaming Learning and Libraries Symposium you missed a fun night of opening gaming. Eli brought DDR, Mario Kart, Guitar Hero, and the Wii. There was a tennis tournament, as well as a pokemon battle, and a Smooth Moves challenge. On the other side of the room we also had the very lovely Scott from Board Games with Scott, Donald Dennis from Syracuse University School of Information Studies (Scott is from there as well) and other table top enthusiasts who were promoting some great games reviewed on Board Game Geek.

If you weren't able to make it you now have the assignment to play the Wii!!!! :D

Monday, July 23, 2007

Eli Neiburger, AADL: "Tournament Games for Any Occassion: Choosing the Right Games for your Audience

Things to consider when choosing a game for a tournament
  • Audience
    • what age/gender?
  • Appeal
    • fun factor
  • Recognition
    • pick a game people know
  • Logistics/Matches
    • short rounds
    • multiplayer
  • Flexibilibity/Options
  • Victory Conditions
    • something that experts and novices have a chance at
  • Appropriateness/Rating
    • highly subjective, but it is a hot button issue at the moment
  • Accessibility
    • to people who haven't played
    • pick something that appeals to hardcore and beginning players
    • create an atmospshere where they feel comfortable sucking!
  • Hipness
    • something that people feel cool playing
  • Angstiness
    • high appeal, but can't be so dark you can't see it

  • Rabidty of Fanbase
    • if you pick a game that is played in World Championship, you have rule sets easily available.
    • SuperSmash Brothers is a great tournament game
  • Depth/Mastery
    • Pick a game that you can always get better at
    • pick a game that is repeatable

The Genre Landscape
Just like books, there are many genres! Game has a very deep video game taxonomy.

Eli provided a quick tutorial on game ratings, and gave a reminder that online play may change the rating of the game. His slide on Trite Generalizations on why kids play games was terribly funny.

Having no "M" rated games is a great way to sidestep a number of issues. You can limit ages to the range on the box.

He did a speed overview of the good, the bad and the ugly on games within each genre... it was so fast, the best thing to do is grab slides at Or, buy his book!

Matt Gullett, Kelly Czarnecki & Craig Davis: "Supporting Culture With Creative and Participatory Digital Media Learning Activites

Matt and Kelly introduced GameLab at PLCMC and talked about their many partners and projects. Animation is posted both on YouTube and the Library website and the MySpace page.

Craig Davis introduced his company, the Youth Digital Arts CyberSchool, that provides online month long technology classes on game design and other digital art. There are forums, lessons and tutorials as well as models.

He showcased games--complex, multi-level games--programmed by 8 & 9 year olds, as well as explanations from the designers on how they made the game. Enterpeuerism is part of the experience; so is mentoring. Students are encouraged to post and share their code, especially to work through problems.

Other course offerings include music production and digital painting. Craig showed some really beautiful images, and it's all self-expression.

Creating original work steps around the problem of kids ripping music.

Note: production level is incredibly high when the audience is your peers.

Donald Dennis, GameLab: "Building a Game Community and Game Friendly Environment"

Advice from a conventioner, podcaster and game support, and now a video game designer.

Define your physical and social environments
  • lighting
  • power
  • furniture (flexible, tables that can be pulled together or pushed apart for versatility)
  • storage (security and availability are an issue; see-through plastic storage bags like for book/cassette kits, wheeled cart or shelving unit, and tupperware containers are possibly choices
  • Decor
    • posters
    • displays
    • game
    • sculptures
    • toys
    • game boards
    • puzzles
    • banners
    • swag direct from companies
  • web community
    • calendar
    • rss feed
    • forum
    • wiki
    • game chooser
    • personal pages with ratings, collections and game blogs
  • Age focus or social group focus or game focus
  • Traditiona; (board, card, dice, war & mini)
  • Role playing (table top RPG, Live Action (Parlor LARPs, Live Scale RPGs, Live Action RPGs)
  • Electronic (arcade, video, digital)
  • Gamer Advisories
  • Games by theme of mechanics
  • books about games
  • books and comics where characters play games
  • game related websites
  • audio/video podcasts
  • movies like Cloak & Dagger, ET, War Games
  • Session Reports
  • Reviews
  • Game of the Month
  • Game Lists
Have a bowl labelled missing pieces to collect stray parts
Cloth covered elastics make the best box bands

There are Game Companies that want to share promotional items! There are also organizations that support games.

Some great companies that support games in education
Looney Games
NorthStar Games

Librayr Game Nexus it going to be the go to resource by January!
posted at

Katie: What If: Gaming, Intellectual Freedom, and the Law

Content based speech restriction is a First Amendment violation

Incitement to imminent lawlessness & violence
YOu cannot justify laws under a preventing violence rationale
video games are intending to entertain
Also cannot show the causal effect

Cant restrict based on how it will make the listener think or feel Protecting Psychological well being of minors is not role of the government

Standards have not been met
Methodological issues: Studies don't show video games ever caused anyone to commit violent acts or cause actual harm to minors. There is a correlation, but there is no predicting it. Are people who are aggressive drawn to violent games or to games make people aggressive? Studies done mostly on adults, not minors.

Attempts to show physiological evidence of harm harm failed

Attack on unfavored newcomer
Awareness raising measures, re: rating system
parental controls are part of all new game consoles

Void for vagueness
Constitution rewuires notice of what speech is permissible
What is "human?" in the world of video games?
What is "harm?"
Chilling effect

Violent video games, not included in obscenity
Limited to explicit sexual depictions
Expanded to include violence has been rejected by numerous courts

So far every restriction has been struck down (six in the last 2 years)
Recent attempts are to force rating system
Inherent First Amendment principles make these kinds of laws impermissible
Problem with the "newcomer"

Some legislators are getting more comfortable with the medium, but it's still a favorite punching bag.

Lori Bell & Tom Peters

Lori Bell, Alliance Library System, gave a quick overview of how a tiny project has grown into 40 islands - to an info archipelago, indeed a whole contintent.

Her talk included a general overview of SL, the history of Alliance Library System in SL, and the overwhelming interest and growth in the project. Some stats:
8 million people in SL
600 self identified libraries
50 libraries with a unique presence, some with their own islands
5000 visitors a day
over 1000 members of libraries friends group
600 in science center and other interest group

Lori thinks the project is really meeting need of educators to be in a community together, and Tom spoke to WHY people have been so willing to donate their time and participate. Perhaps their jobs just are not able to provide a creative outlet.

There have been important partnerships and sponsorships with SL businesses and organizations as well as RL government and educational agenices, library companies.

Working Groups
  • SciFi
  • HealthInfo Island
  • Mystery Manor
  • Renaissance Island
  • Art (they don't have conferences, so providing a real service for them to be able to connect)
  • Accessiblity

Exhibits and Library Education are major projects, and networking is a major benefit.

Mythica on Imagination Island, and Caledon's library has become a hub of that community.

There is always a group of librarians hanging out at Info Island.

An ALA interest group was formed at the last conference.

Collaborations and Experiements Lori highlighted at
Rich Island to promote new NF book, Why is this Idiot Rich and I'm Not? The Globe Theatre and Dante's Inferno are exciting new builds.

Is SL a game? Only it's hairdresser knows for sure.
It looks like an MMORPG. Linden Lab calls it a game, but Tom analogized it to a mall... or government entity, and stressed the content creation of the citizens.

Key Points from Year One
  1. Explosion of Worldwide Volunteerism
  2. Rapid Development and Growth
  3. Collaborative Efforts within and beyond Librarianship
  4. Exhibits and Events a big success
  5. Reference Service a big success

The opportunity for collaboration is tremendous - maybe we need to be looking towards museums and theme parks. We need to look at information experiences.

Sex, Gambling and LIbrarianship would be a GREAT title for an SL presentation.

Salon culture evolves at the SL Reference desk. I wonder if it is isolating though. I don't hang out at the library, I only go there for my shift and an event. I do a ton of outreach just by walking around in world with "Librarian" floating over my head.

Goals for Year Two:
  • Community Building
  • Providing a Global Presence
  • Funding and Sustainability
  • ALA Virtual Online Communities and Libraries
  • Improving Meetings: audio/mixed reality
  • Library education in Second Life
There are so many challenges. Funding is a huge one. It is a highly addictive endeavor. People are spending a huge amount of waking and sometimes sleeping time in world. (I wonder if the ones who never come back have alts). There is a gold rush mentality. Not everyone understands that when you are in SL you are working. The hardware and Internet requirements are intense, but there is still not integrated audio and web. It's still new and changing really fast and volunteer based, so it's a struggle to make it work sometimes.

(My battery is dying, will post rest later)

James Paul Gee, University of Madison Wisconsin "Libraries, Gaming and the New Equity Crisis"

"Why does the army teach the way it does--with video games and simulations?Because they get the kids that failed at the school system, and if they teach the way our schools did our soldiers would die. And we should ashamed they did it better than we do."

Gee framed his talk on teh concept that there really is no more middle class, beginning with a list of things online that are not available in school, like computer training, hypertext/media,
interactive stimulation, intelligent tutoring systems, etc. He identified a number of gaps in learning:
Literacy (4 kids out of how many learn to read less well than their peers)
Application (Kids can spit back information (ie, cite a law) but can't apply it; the application gap is the reason that most kids feel.)
Tech Saavy (Tech saavy means you are not afraid of technical stuff ad you can use tech productively to produce stuff not just consume. Simply handing people the tech widens the gap not lessens it, and weathly & middle class families provide support and mentoring in a way that low income ones cannot.)

The role of the librarian is to proivde the support, the scaffolding, the mentoring - not just the tools.

A reminder: success at school is really a home based event. Early literacy at home = school success. Having a strong academic language from at home literacy is required to do well.

"Learning is a reward for intelligent creatures. Our society has made it a turn off"

Learning principles in games are the same as ones in schools. Gee invited us to consider the following 12 learning principles and consider, is it a good principle should we put it in school, or in a library?

  1. Lower the consequences of failure. Encourages risk-taking and innovation and new styles of learning. Every failure is a learning event. "Fail early, fail often" IDEO Credo
  2. Players are high on the agency tree. Your decisions and choices really matter. Your choices make you a co-designer of the game.
  3. Problems are well ordered. Immersion with support and mentoring
  4. Cycles of challenge, consolidation and new challenge. Give them a problem, repeat it til they have mastered it, and then give them a problem where it no longer works, so they have to revisit the problem and come up with a new skill. Super Mario Brothers does this very very well. Problem, practice, problem, practice, BOSS. This is the cycle not just for becoming a gamer, but for becoming a learner. The poor kids don't get enough practice and the rich ones don't get challenged
  5. Stay within but that the outer edge of the player's regime of competence. Games keep you pleasantly frustrated. Getting to the state of FLOW motivates.
  6. Games encourage players to think about systems, not just isolated facts.
  7. Empathy for a Complex system. A game is a simulation you are IN. When scientists talk about systems, they use "I"
  8. Give verbal info just in time when players need and can use or "on demand" when the player asks for it. There is a whole encyclopedia for Civilization but you have to ask for it.
  9. Situate the meanings of words and symbols and show how they vary across different actions images, and dialogues. Don't just offer words for words. Get beyond a definition and associate a word with an example. Kids only get books in schools. They can apply situated meaning to EVERY situation, they would succeed. All that's hard about academic language is trying to learn it verbally.
  10. Modding Attitude. Games come with the software so the player can change and edit the game. In Tony Hawk you can play the game, or make the whole game over again.
  11. Assessments. Kids will read charts show evaluation for a game, and not for school.

Q. Why is it had to get teachers in schools to get on board with games?
A. It's related to LABOR. Our schools are functioning quite well to produce service workers. 1/5 of people will be knowledge creators, 1/5 technical, and 3/5 will be service workers.

Q. A game does not have to be "Educational" to be educational.
A. Yes, these learning principles can apply on content you like OR don't like. Kids are learning tons of stuff that is not the traditional school based content. Kids say they are learning more at home; school is important because you need the certificate. We split up learning the way Aristotle did. he's dead! Let Aristotle's discipline go.

Q. Why don't I want to do it?
A. You weren't willing to put up with failure. Gamers see failure as a failure of the game designer, not themselves.

A kid who is behind in reading in first grade has an 80% chance of being behind in HS. Being behind in games is really hard to rectify too.

Photos from Video Game Tournament

Pics from the Video Game Tournament. I am assuming the guilty parties will identify themselves! (or tell me to delete their image).

Eli Neiburger, AADL "The Payoff: Up Close and Personal"

Eli introduced himself as the third in a trilogy of bearded white males, Geek 3: the Geekinator before launching into a very clear and passionate presentation about all the video gaming program at the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library. He talked about details like budget - an intial investment of hardware has lead to three years worth of programs. For just $150 you can host a video game program for 30-50 people - you don't have to have 8 tvs and give away iPods. They are fortunate to have administrative and IT buy in, and a Friends group that buys prizes.

One thing I love about hearing Eli speak is that he tells great stories and everything he says is quotable. He mentioned at 40% of Americans don't read after high school, and gamer make up a larger portion of your community than readers.

AADL hosts a blog and leaderboards where players and one way the kids are able to express themselves is by posting on the boards. They can say anything, but they can also ask Eli to review posts and replace salty language with the word "snork."

The payoff is providing relevance to an audience that didn't think it was possible [for the library to be relevant in their lives]."

He concluded with a 10 minute video that showed highlights from tournaments and interviews with players, parents and librarians.

He also announced that in July 2008, AADL will make their leaderboard available NATIONALLY. Watch for details.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Scott Nicholson, Syracuse, Library Game Lab "Who Else is Playing? The Current State of Gaming in Libraries"

The Library GameLab at Syracuse is examining the entire spectrum of games. Scott Nicholson gave the grand unveiling of data from his study. We got it BEFORE the NYT! It's online at

Women age 40 play online games from 12-5am!

Library & Casino could be the end of our financial woes. One library already does bingo with books as prizes.
Right now the focus has been on Best Practices in specific settings
which are hard to generalize and develop a theory around. So, Scott and Co. set out to determine what are the basic research questions that individual libraries don't have time to answer?

Understanding the State of Gaming
400 random libraries - 382 replied

Do you support gaming
Gaming programs?
Policies about computer use for games?
What are your plans for future gaming?

Gaming Census
gaming programs in libraries in 2006 to gain a better systematic understanding of

Library Size
1-3000 112 76%
3000-10,000 121
10,000-50000 106
50,000+ 43

Scott took a conservation approach, and assumed that people who are not responding do not support gaming.

Do you support gaming in your libraries? Scott used Wits and Wagers
as a model to have us estimate the answer to the question. My guess was 83%.
There is serious math involved in figuring out the points; it's a game of statistics. "Heh heh heh," said Scott "I just got you THINKING!"

The answer? 77%. However... everybody won! North Star Games donated 300 copies of Wits & Wagers to the GLLS participations.

White Paper Resutls?

Percent of Libraries that Run Gaming Programs?
Yes 172 43%
N0 210 52%

20% circulate games highest percentage
30 circ Board
30 PC games
15% puzzle
5 console games

Can patrons play games 82%

It's more than just DDR!

Gaming programs 3473 programs

179 unique programs

Once they get a program they stick with it.

Average run of a program: 20 times

33 participants per prgoram on average
90,000 people participating in gaming programs in 2006
56,639 unique users

Were the games educational? 10%
public 6.5%
academic 9%
school 50%

Competitive: 50%
public 48%
academic 64%
school 57%

What did they play?
DDR, 50%

DDR is the most popular game. Chess is #3. Uno, Checkers and Scrabble made the list

service to active group
community role
cultural signifcance
to intro the library
pr for lib
build dev assets
new literacies

reputation of library improved
users attending gaming program and returned to the library another time for non gaming services.
Social connections were improved, including outside of their peer groups
Non participants complained about the program

Tangent Man said vendors are interested in supporting libraries doing tournaments and LAN parties.

What's next:
Go through the comments
Get funding!
Repeat random sample for school & academic libraries.
Repeat census in 2008
Create a classification system for games
Economist's study of games for the public good
Non-organizational, individual, Online portal in development: Library GameLab Nexis

Scott insists that just saying it meets mission is not enough. We need to look at it from a public good perspective.

Register for IST 600 for Gaming in Libraries, a 3 credit graduate course @ SU School # weekends in NY, rest online
Focus is to put out students who can run gaming programs.

Q. Who did you talk to, administrators or children's librarians?
A. First we said, we are not vendors! We explained the survey and let the library decide who we should talk to.

Q. Is there a disconnect between what MIT is doing to show the educational value of gaming?
A. The harder thing to do is to show that games have recreational value.

Q. Where do teen services fit in children's services?
A. We didn't branch out that far. Games in the children's section was the most common response. Need money to break it out.

Q. Did you check validity for your results?
A. Did not answer

Q. Do people say we support games, but not gaming?
A. A good next study is to figure out what people perceive as games vs. gaming.

Q. Any plan for studying intergenerational gaming?
A. There are lots of games that are good for all ages or families.

Q. Have game companies been approached?
A. Board games vendors are coming in, and vendors are very interested.

Welcome: Games, Learning & Libraries 2007

Keith Michael Fields, ALA executive director stressed that the syposium brings together all divisions and types of libraries. ALA will continue to take the lead in research and best practices

Partners and sponsors were thanked (ACRL, Syracuse GameLab & Verizon, as well as prize donors from tabletop & video gaming companies & magazines).

Tags for Games Learning & Libraries: glls2007

My bookmarks:

Henry Jenkins, Director of MIT Comparative Media Studies: "What Librarians Need to Know About Games, Media Literacy, and Participatory Culture"

"Its' not just about turning your library over to games... it's about thinking what it means to play as an alternative system of learning."

Jenkins spoke about the irony of a gaming symposium on the biggest reading weekend of the year, reminded us that gamers consume across mediums, and challenged us to think about
what constitutes play and what constitutes learning?

He shared a personal story about his son playing Power Play (Doonesbury Election Game), and when his son brought it to school, discovered a
BOOK about the political process is ok; a GAME is not. The experience was personal and Henry spoke about working on the local level to change the way people think about learning

He referenced the Civilization project
Sneaking in and cheating by looking at their textbooks to solve What If? scenarios, and had inner city students who learned history on the Guns Germs & Steel level (by Jared Diamond) A similiar case study can be found in Arts of the Contact Zone by Mary Louise Pratt - the literacy process brought about by baseball card collecting.

Sometimes a passion spurs literacy around a subject.

iCue, a new game debuting in fall 2007 to engage kids in learning about politics, current events and media

The spelling bee model is not instructive or engaging; compare to Scrabble, which is much more interactive
Scot Osterweil, Education Arcade

The game becomes only one element in a serious game because of the reading and engagement

Children under 6 spend almost 2 hours a day using screen media
Kaiser Foundation

9% play games
83% have screen time and play outside around 2 hours a day
79% are read to
73% wach tv and watch video/DVD

Instead of "Screen Media BAD" Limit it, consider how to creatively ethically imaginatively

Pew Internet & American Life
57% media creators
33 % share
22 % homepages
19% blog
19% remix content

Girl more likely to engage in content creation; race not a factor urban kids are most likely.

What about the 43% who do not participate?
this points to the role librarians want play.

Defined participatory culture as one with:
Low barriers to artistic expression and civic engagement
support for creating and sharing
informal mentoring
contributions matter
social connection between memebr

Adults and kids learn from each other w/o a fixed age hierar
chy "Fluidity of relationships"

HP is a book that is teaching kids to WRITE.

Social sills and cultural competencies
Kids who grow up playing games and with access to technology are much more comfortable with tech in the classroom
Think about what these kids need not just extended hours, but help thinking about the process

The transparency problem
unless we couplea critical approach to media... we are not in asituation where we can help this generation move. Think about emdia critically

The Ethics Problems

Livejournal peaks at 18 the age of a high school newspaper editor

Kids need:
access to skills
abilty to articulate their understanding

Need to know
Traditional Print Literacy
Research Skills (evaluating Wikipedia)
Technical Skills (computing & codig)
Media Literacy (institutions and practices through which media circulates

"Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century" MacArthur Foundation

Play the capacity to experiment with your surroundings as a form of problem solving (scientific method)
Learn by failure insead of by success
Simulation - the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real world processes

Performance: the ability to adopy alernative identities forthe purpose of improvization and discovery

Appropriation - the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content

3-D Game Based Filmmaking: The Art of Machinima
Rise of the Machinma

Remixing as a skill that has shaped human history

Ricardo Filtzwalli

Nothing new under the sun - Shakespeare wrote fan fiction!

Multitasking the ability to san one's environment and shift focus onto salient detials on an ad hoc basis


Distributed Cognition the ability to interact meaninfully with tools which expand out mental capacity

Collective Intelligence -- the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others towards a common goal

(Alternative reality games like I love bees Halo 2 promotion)

Judgement the ability to evaulation the reliability and flow

Transmedia Navigation the ability to deal with the flow of sories and information across multiple modalities (Pokemon)

Networking-- the ability to search, synthesize and disseminate information (Lost)

Are youth safer working through this stuff alone? Or doing it with a mentor and expert?

DOPA isa fight we have to win

Negotiation -- the ability to travel acorss diverse commnities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative sets of norms.

Info Facilitator or coach: Librarian as search engine!

Understand how games work and game space learning work - play WITH the kids and help them understand

Tinkering Space
John Seely Brown

Global Kids Barry Joseph Teen Second Life
Urban Games Academy (Baltimore)

Showcase machinima
The library is part of a social network

Q: How did you decide to work with NBC?
A. They came to us, because they recognize they are losing viewers

Q. What's Your Favorite Video Game
A. Tetris. I'm more of a casual gamer. I have a respect for the Sims, Pheonix Right (DS)

Q. Are you working with the NY school with the MacArthur Foundation grant?
A. Yes! On game design process as motivating learning.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Top 100 Games of All Time

BBC News, 7/2/2007
"The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has topped a poll of readers of Edge magazine and industry experts to find the top 100 games of all time."

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Space Still Available! ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning and Libraries Symposium

Three tracks. Over twenty-five sessions. And luminary keynote addresses by James Paul Gee AND Henry Jenkins, east and west coast kings of Gaming, Learning, Media and Literacy.

Registration closes July 13 and space is limited! Check out the Preliminary Program at and register today!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Escapist features Educational Gaming...

Including gaming in libraries! Check out their article on Dewey Decimals and DDR at

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Entertainment Consumers Association

Is anyone a member of the Entertainment Consumers Association?

The Entertainment Consumers Association annual membership is only $19.99 and includes an unbeatable gamer benefits package such as discounts on magazine subscriptions, admission to gaming events, Hyatt hotel rates and you are automatically entered into a weekly drawing to receive an array of gamer goodies and the chance the win a Sony PS3!"

I just registered, because I DO, in fact, believe that games, like literature, music and film, have cultural and artistic value. It will be exciting to watch what happens when gamers organize! I think I need to link to them from this blog.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Nintendo to boost Wii production

by Yuri Kageyama, AP, 4/28/07
"Nintendo Co.'s president acknowledged Friday that the shortage of the hit Wii game machine was "abnormal," and promised production was being boosted to increase deliveries by next month."

Friday, April 27, 2007

Playing Video Games Saves Family from Fire

AP, 4/27/07
"Early every morning, you can find nine-year-old Davien Hayden playing video games. This week, his daily habit may have helped save his family's life."

Monday, April 23, 2007

MIT Tech Model Railroad Club Open House

Of possible interest...

The 60th Anniversary Open House of the Tech Model Railroad Club of MIT will take place Saturday, April 28, in room N52-118 on the MIT campus (on the first floor of the MIT museum building, 265 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge). The club will be open for two sessions, from 2-5 and 7-10 pm. This event is open to everyone, and admission is free.

We will have many trains running throughout the day, and will be happy
to show and tell you about our:
- computerized control system
- hand-laid track
- scenery
- streetcar system
- Green Building Tetris game
- and much more

You can find more information about the open house and the club in
general (including directions to our club room,) on our web page,

We look forward to seeing you there!


Saturday, April 21, 2007

Gamers Unite

On Saturday, May 5th, at 1pm in Bryant Park in New York City, Empire Arcadia will gather as many gamers as they can. Empire Arcadia's mission statement says in part,
"We work with today's youth in shaping them into tomorrow's leaders, by providing videogame competition and social activities/play for them to experience."
The gathering in Bryant Park will be "to help push the message for non violence in our schools and to morn the loss of the Virginia Tech students."

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Survey on Gaming Programs in Libraries

We are attempting to create a census of gaming programs run in libraries in 2006. I'm starting with this group, and will be spreading the word after ensuring the data looks good.

If your library ran a gaming program in 2006, please fill out this survey. You will be able to enter information about up to 5 different gaming programs (you will indicate if the same program was repeated), and if you have more than 5 different programs, you can fill out the
survey a second time for additional programs.

The data will be first presented at the ALA TechSource Gaming, Learning, and Libraries Symposium and will be used to drive the research agenda and as evidence to seek funding for the development of the Game Lab at Syracuse University's School of Information Studies.

Please fill out this surveyASAP!

The survey is at:

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Video of How They Got Game program @ Stanford

Video of How They Got Game program @ Stanford

How They Got Game workshop with Daniel Huebner, Wednesday the 4th of April 2007 at 3pm on the 4th floor of Wallenberg Hall at Stanford University

Speaker Bio:
Daniel Huebner is director of community affairs at Linden Lab, where he seeks to bring a modicum of order to the virtual world of Second Life — without stifling its essential creativity. Previous, Daniel was a journalist, editor, and analyst for several publications, including stints at the helm of Game Developer magazine and

Second Life is redefining the rules of online worlds, and in the process invaliding many of of the strategies that have thus far been used to govern online spaces. With it's mix of anonymity, real money, emergent social order, and rampant creativity, Second Life presents a potent blend for anyone hoping to bring order to the inherent chaos. From the beginning, Linden Lab has pursued a less-is-more philosophy, avoiding the urge to created strict rules and policies in favor of relying on social pressure and communication to instill values and norms into a new community. As the world of Second Life grows past four million Residents, new approaches to dispute resolution, identity, and trust are being added to Linden's toolbox.

These workshops are open to all interested parties with a strong interest in topics surrounding new media, technology, and design. They offer the chance to hear talks by industry professionals and seasoned academics, but also offer the rare opportunity for one-on-one questions as well as collaborative work.

How They Got Game is a research project at the Stanford Humanities Lab dedicated to the historical investigation of computer games and other related interactive technologies. Its diverse membership possesses varying academic interests ranging from machinima, virtual worlds and interactive storytelling.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Games, in ANY form

Rosemary Honnold, Queen of Library Programming, has posted several Jeopardy style games that you can use in your teen library programs. All you need is Powerpoint! Check it out at

Friday, March 30, 2007

Game Over Project

Game Over Project
"People play pixels in this live-action remake of Space Invaders." Also, check out Pong and Pole Position.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

MMOG Findings from the Daedelus Project

A new issue of The Daedalus Project is now available at:

Also, several new surveys are available for current MMORPG players. You can participate at:

In particular, if you have ever run a business or have heavily traded in auction houses in MMOs, please consider taking a moment to fill out a survey on your experiences and lessons learned.

As the number of MMOs and MMO portals increase, your help in publicizing the link to the current surveys goes a long ways in sustaining this line of research. Any help is much appreciated.

Also, if you run into any errors, typos, or are confused by anything in the surveys, please email me to let me know.

Nick Yee

Friday, March 16, 2007

Virtual Congress Role-Playing Game

2/16/07 by Indiana University South Bend
"In early 2007 the Center on Congress will begin design and production of an ambitious and innovative program to help young people learn about representative democracy and their role as citizens: a multiplayer online role play game, tentatively titled Virtual Congress."

Monday, March 05, 2007

Friday, February 23, 2007

Job opportunities for Second Life

"Educators that are Los Angeles based (and remote learning teachers as well) can send resumes in this direction! We are especially looking for educators who are capable of growing and sustaining communities in SL. is best for Second Life-related projects. They are hiring a handful of part-time and full-time educators in 2007 along with many design creatives and SL professionals."

Global Kids:
"Global Kids is NOT looking to hire anyone... today. But they expect they will, as 2007 progresses. If you are a NYC-based educator who uses Second Life, please feel free to send Barry Joseph ( your resume so you can be kept in mind as positions develop. See blog for their projects."

ESRB to start hiring full time video game raters

"The ESRB is looking for adults with flexible hours that would be available to come to NY on a freelance basis (1- 4 times a month) during normal (9-5) business hours to rate video games"

Family Safety Bus Tour

"Microsoft's educational campaign includes a 20-city bus tour that is taking to the streets to provide hands-on training and education on video games."

Thursday, February 22, 2007

ALSC Announces Notable Software List

"CHICAGO — The Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), has selected its 2007 list of Notable Computer Software and Online Subscription Services for children..."

Check out the press release and list at:

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Online Magazines and Casual Games

by Jason Dobson, Gamasutra, 2/19/07
"Online casual and advergaming developer Arkadium has announced a multi-year agreement with magazine publisher Hearst Corporation to develop web-based games for some of the publisher's most popular properties, beginning with Seventeen, CosmoGIRL! and Teen."

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Surgeons Who Play Video Games More Skilled

by Reuters, 2/19/07
"Playing video games appears to help surgeons with skills that truly count: how well they operate using a precise technique, a study said Monday.
There was a strong correlation between video game skills and a surgeon's capabilities performing laparoscopic surgery in the study published in the February issue of Archives of Surgery."

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Super Mario Multimedia World

by the Ubiquitous Librarian, 1/20/07
"This is a concept that our student assistants developed, designed, and implemented. We have a small and cozy multimedia studio (Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator, iMovie, Final Cut, Dreamweaver, Flash, Maya, etc) and over the winter break they turned it into a 3d environment based on the Super Mario's World game."

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Worlds Collide

The Isle of Myst has been recreated in Second Life to promote Uru Live, a MMOG based on Myst.

Wagner James Au covers it best, at New World Notes:

MacArthur Games and Learning Panel Draws Crowds

by Connie Yowell, MacArthur Foundation, 2/12/07
"An overflow crowd gathered in Chicago’s Newberry Library to hear three experts discuss the use of video games for learning. The panel was the first in a series. "

Today's Homework: Make Good Games

by Chris Kohler, Wired, 2/13/07
"MIT professor Henry Jenkins is the accidental hero of video gamers. So when Jenkins speaks, the game industry listens. And right now, he thinks the business could use a dose of creativity. "

Friday, February 16, 2007

Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game based learning

"The Learning in Immersive Worlds: a review of game based learning report, authored by Sara de Freitas, scopes out the current use of games for learning in UK HE and post-16 education and has been produced to inform practitioners who are considering using games and simulations in their practice."

The 73 page report discussion cognition and games, emerging forms of gaming, such as mobile and alternative reality gaming, that may be used in education.

Interestingly enough, lack of access to technology and tools was cited as the largest barrier to game incorporation in the curriculum.

The key finding seems to be we need more research done in this area!

Read the report at

Monday, February 12, 2007

I have a Wii!

And, a Mii! A smirky one, even.

I got it Sunday night as an early birthday/Valentine's day gift. I stunk at tennis, and very nearly hurled my numchuck at the new TV at one point as I attempted a forehand; thank gods for the wrist strap, else I would have found an early demise. I question the physics of the bowling, as I bowled a 202, and had several double strikes. I have a lot of trouble keeping the ball going straight in RL, as I tend to curve left.

I spent Sunday playing Call of Duty 3, (Activision/TreyArch) an M-rated first person shooter, and Lego Star Wars II: The Original Trilogy (Eidos/Lucas Arts), an E-rated action-adventure. I found Call of Duty challenging. I played in a player vs. player mode with my much more adept husband, who kept sneaking up behind me and shooting me in the head while I was still trying to line up my target or just plain FIND his Allied troops character. The World War II setting means no representation of women or minorities, and this particular mode of play did not show my damage or my target, making for an uncluttered screen, but a feeling of cluelessness. There is a lack of blood - the screen has a red wash when you are fatally wounded but no blown away body parts or anything. After he had 24 kills than my one, and was in hysterics (you call yourself a gamer?!) I called it quits. The camera control was hair trigger sensitive. I kept getting stuck in the trench because I forgot to pan down to see where my feet where. Ocassionally, vector lines were visible in the stone walls - a small design flaw.

I am finding Lego Star Wars II to be unputdownable. The story playthrough is so compelling, because you just want to see what they did with the cut scenes, and blowing Lego characters into their component bits is hellaciously funny. The building is a lot of fun, too; the pieces even make a satisfying "snick snick snick" sound. Music, but not dialogue, from the trilogy is featured.
I found I didn't need the manual; the game prompted me when I needed a command. It's great to find something with such a low learning curve. In two player mode, the characters can only go a certain number of pixels apart, so actions had to be team-coordinated. Jumping was sometimes clumsy and out-of-control, but the game allows a second player to jump in or out at any point in the game. I am really looking forward to going back to play in story mode, where you can choose to be any character, instead of pre-set choices.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Study says video games are good for eyes

by Reuters Life! 2/7/07
"Video game addicts, rejoice: U.S. researchers have found that playing is actually good for your eyes, and despite all those dire warnings from your parents, it won't make you blind." Thanks Matt.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Friday, February 02, 2007

West Virginia Schools Use DDR

by Reuters, 2/1/07
"West Virginia, which has the worst childhood obesity problem in the United States, is stepping up plans to use Konami Corp.'s "Dance Dance Revolution" to battle the bulge in its schools."

Monday, January 29, 2007

Wii helps lose weight

by Lisa Baertlein, Reuters, 1/19/07
"Video gamers who'd rather battle virtual villains than fight the flab can take heart. Use of the new Nintendo Wii can lead to weight loss. " Thanks Jesse.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Financial Support to D&D Clubs

"Starting in January 2007, Dungeons & Dragons will provide $20,000 to clubs to encourage and perpetuate their roleplaying adventures."

Search for Best Video Game Concept to Reduce Spread of HIV/AIDS

"mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, and the Kaiser Family Foundation today announced the “Change the Course of HIV Challenge” – a competition offering college students digital tools to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS among young people in the United States."

Online service through Wii console

by AP, 1/25/07
"The Wii News Channel, scheduled to debut Saturday, January 27, will primarily feature top news stories and photographs from The Associated Press."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Lionsgate and HABBO team up

by PRNewswire, 01/16/07
"Lionsgate the leading independent filmed entertainment studio, goes viral this January as the company, identifying the next step in new media opportunities, has partnered with HABBO, one of the world's largest online communities for teenagers, to allow today's teens to determine the fate of a Habbo animated release."

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Computer game to boost key skills

"They would come knocking on the staff room door and wouldn't let us go until we had taught them how to calculate area."

Bloody brilliant!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Online Game Mystery Revealed

CNN, 1/10/07
"After weeks of sifting through clues, bloggers, gamers and technology enthusiasts got some relief this week when Microsoft Corp. revealed that Vanishing Point is part of a viral-marketing campaign for Vista, the new PC operating system set for a consumer launch later this month." Thanks Jesse for the article.

Using Games to Prepare for the Work Force

by Lisa Baertlein, Reuters, 1/11/07
"Schools should use games to prepare children to compete in the work force, where juggling technology is a daily requirement."

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Games for Change-January 12

Games for Change will be organizing a session on 'videogames for good' from 11am-12:15pm at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis. This meeting will discuss how the medium of video games is used and can be used for 'serious' purposes such as bringing awareness to Darfur or fighting poverty for example. Email: for more information.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Fight obesity with activity-based games

by Brendan Sinclair, Gamespot, 1/4/07
"Mayo Clinic researchers put into perspective the amount of extra calories burned by children playing DDR or EyeToy games."
Thanks for sending Matt R.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

"Welcome to the New You" SLJ article on Second Life

40,000 teenagers "live" in Teen Second Life (TSL), a 3-D digital environment created by Linden Lab and targeted at youth ages 13 to 17. Is a teen in YOUR community one of them?

What does Teen Second Life (TSL) have to do with gaming? The navigation through the 3-D interface is very similar to playing a video game. TSL can be compared to the a sandbox style game where the user creates his or her own experience. Although TSL is not competitive or focused on set goals and objectives like the Sims or Madden '07 (although, some locations in TSL have games, objectives or contests as you move through the space), it is a game, as defined by Merriam-Webster: an "
activity engaged in for diversion or amusement."

TSL is much more than a diversion though--Kelly Czarnecki, Teen Librarian at the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County (PLCMC) in Charlotte, NC calls it "a Web presence that helps teens develop positive identities, take charge of their lives, and assume leadership roles as world citizens, " which drew her interest in connecting TSL to library services.

The article details the Teen Loft's leap into TSL as well as other school/community/library partnerships that are taking place virtually, making an excellent case for developmental needs met and literacy activities pursued in the space.

Check out the article by Kelly at
or in the January 2006 issue of School Library Journal.

Upcoming Gaming Events!

What are you doing with gaming at your library? The LIbrary Success Best Practices Wiki has a page on gaming with a section on upcoming and past events. Please add your gaming club, free play, tournaments, etc to the page at
The site is great for finding our who is doing what - and if something someone else is doing catches your eye, you can contact a colleague for the 411

Monday, January 01, 2007

Dance Dance Revolution Overtakes Urbana Library

by Paula Rigaux, The Frederick News-Post, 1/01/07
"The game, which has been used as a recess tool in schools across the country, recently was introduced to teenagers at Urbana Regional Library (Maryland), not as a substitute for books, but as entertainment during the lull between holidays, said Mary Ann Foltz, the youth services librarian."