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