lunes, 17 de agosto de 2009

Videogames in the library? What is the World Coming to? - "Reseña Critica"

It isn’t old news that video games are appearing in libraries. After all, it wasn’t so long ago that I did research on the subject and was surprised at the findings. That is why I chose to review this article for this assignment. The article was published by School Libraries Worldwide in its volume 14, issue num. 2 of July 2008, by Kathy Sanford.

Videogames, like libraries, have undergone a massive revolution and have changed from entertainment to something rather complex yet, more accessible to the public. Many different types of new game genres have surfaced, which are readily available and easily utilized for different purposes.

While in this article the author, Kathy Sanford, views it as a new trend and describes it as a new platform for libraries to take advantage of, it also easily discusses many of the advantages of having this technology readily available.

Having studied education, I can relate to this entirely. For starters, I agree with the author when she says that this generation is quite different from other ones, at least regarding its view on libraries and information in general. Children today acquire information and entertain themselves quite differently than previous generations (Sanford, 2008, p.83), which in turn provides a different perspective and expectancy of a library.

Some libraries have adapted themselves to this new technology, making some rather impressive findings. For example, according to Sanford, one of the new trends include free access to MMORPGS (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), like Guild Wars or the extremely popular World of Warcraft, believing that they promote team play, friendly competition, problem solving skills and even concepts like leadership and collaboration (Sanford, 2008 p. 85). Personally, being a player myself and having been brought into it by my past students, I subscribe to this idea and believe it to be true. Many of my students learned many concepts relating to many subjects at school, including math and literature, because of games they played. Another trend is offering a rental service for off-line games on different platforms, such as X-Box 360 or Playstation 3. Of course, not all of these games offer an educational content, but even so, they have the additional purpose of attracting people to the library.

The fact that libraries have begun to accept games as a form of information and a way of learning, makes me proud, not only as an educator and future librarian, but also as a fellow gamer. I don’t agree that any game should have a green light into a library, but I do see what many of these modern libraries are trying to do. Children are learning in different ways and libraries are taking that in into account, trying to please the necessities of their public. Personally, I think that as long that is kept under control and people are properly trained, it is an innovative way to face a new generation head-on.

Works Cited:

Sanford, K. (2008, July). Videogames in the Library? What is the World Coming to?
School Libraries Worlwide, p. 83-88.


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4 comentarios:

  1. I have been an advocate for video game in libraries ever since I've been old enough to come to such judgment. I am a firm believer that video game teach children (and adults) a lot, for instance how to navigate a menu based interface. Personally, I credit video games for most of my computer literacy skills, as the transition from navigating menus in video games to navigating a computer was seamless for me, and you'd be hard pressed to find any video gamer who doesn't have at the very least a basic understanding of computers.

    Video games, from the most basic to the most complex, present puzzle solving opportunities that require critical thinking in ways that are actually interesting. It also allows the opportunity to expand a person's vocabulary and a sense of teamwork, community and social interaction through online gaming.

    There's a blog I started reading during summer, which is one I'm going to link for my own blog here, that you might find interesting.

    Also I just downloaded an e-book version of a book titled What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy, which was written by serious scholar. If anyone is interested in a copy let me know.

  2. Tu reseña del artículo de Sanford, Valerie, me ha parecido sumamente interesante y muy clara. No hay duda de que las oportunidades de los vídeo juegos, así como los juegos computadorizados y en línea, representan una oportunidad extraordinaria para las bibliotecas ofrecer nuevos servicios de forma innovadora, sobre todo a niños y jóvenes. Me parece muy certera tu reflexión sobre el artículo y la conexión que haces con tu propia experiencia, como maestra y joven que has crecido con la nueva tecnología. Concuerdo con tu apreciación y la de Ricardo de que los vídeo juegos constituyen una tecnología oportuna para facilitar la comprensión de realidades complejas de forma placentera. La combinación del entretenimiento con la estrategia educativa requiere de conceptos, diseños y estrategias de interacción con la tecnología que estimulen el pensamiento crítico y la innovación. Ustedes podrian hacer esas contribuciones.

  3. Olvidé comentarles que les podría interesar leer el Cap. 13 sobre "Gaming" de Meredith Farkas (2007) en su libro Social Software in Libraries. Está en Reserva de la BCBI.

  4. Sweet! You know I'll be checking that out. Thanks for the lead. ^_^