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Video Games for Video Games’ Sake

From ParentDish – “While it’s not Moby Dick or War and Peace, it is getting kids into the library and perhaps, someday, they might return to check out one of those. In the meantime, it shows that libraries can evolve to meet the ever-changing needs of their community.” (via)

Using video games to get kids to read diminishes the reason for and power of reading. Kids shouldn’t be conned into reading a book. Libraries should be using video games to get kids into the library to, well, play video games. We should be pushing reading by talking about great books, not DDR and other “candy”.

It’s the whole “trying to be cool” thing all over again. Hey, kids, do you want to play some games that your parents won’t let you play at home? Well, stop by. And, on the way out, grab a book, because we know that’s what the library is truly about, not video games. Suckers.

Books should be cool and hip. Not video games.

Update – I wonder why I’ve never seen video game stores pushing books onto kids when they walk out the door.

3 Responses to “Video Games for Video Games’ Sake”

  1. Stephen Maher
    February 23, 2008 at 5:45 pm #

    There are several video games that are based on actual books (LOTR, Splinter Cell, immediately come to mind – plus all those games based on comics). One could coordinate readings with video games.

    Not to mention there’s a fair amount of writing that comes with video games. I bet lots of kids would like to learn how video games are written and what better place to learn than at a library.

  2. Greg
    February 23, 2008 at 7:17 pm #

    “I wonder why I’ve never seen video game stores pushing books onto kids when they walk out the door.”

    Sure they do. They’re called strategy guides and cheat code books.

  3. Steven
    February 23, 2008 at 9:07 pm #

    Stephen: Have you seen this coordination (VG and reading) occur somewhere? I would love to read about that. Actually playing video games, IMO, does nothing to promote reading.

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