Library’s ‘Guitar Hero’ contests a hot ticket

RapidCityJournal.com – "Chloe was one of 24 kids who competed in the first round of the Rapid City Public Library’s “Guitar Hero III” tournament on July 25."

Yup.  That will totally increase literacy.   Everytime I pick up my bass guitar, I start to remember the words of Shakespeare.  C’mon, really?

Kids, don’t forget to pick up your books on your way out the door…

7 Responses to “Library’s ‘Guitar Hero’ contests a hot ticket”

  1. Keri
    August 10, 2008 at 8:57 pm #

    We don’t force books into the hands of every adult who enters the library.

    Just because they are kids doesn’t mean every experience they have between the walls of a library has to be an educational one.

    The more they enjoy the library the more like they are to return – for other video game programs, for a concert, for their summer reading books, to ask for help with a homework assignment, to hang out with friends in a social setting after school. EVERY kid who came to my Wii Sports/DDR/Rock Band programs this summer is a reader.

    Books are probably the most important thing a library has to offer, but not the only thing.

  2. Stefan Hayden
    August 10, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    I also have a problem with all picture books. What’s with all the pictures? you can’t read a picture! Who are these toddlers fooling? Learn to read!

    My mother gave me A Tale of Two Cities when I was one year old and I never looked back. If Charles Dickens didn’t think pictures would help people read then neither do I.

    Also Egyptian hieroglyphs. These pictures masquerading as words are not fooling anyone. I am apart of an ancient order of Librarians who originally formed to ban these “texts” from the Library of Alexandria. How King Tut fooled the people of Egypt in to thinking they were actually reading I’ll never know.

    And that’s the Word.

  3. Steven
    August 10, 2008 at 9:36 pm #

    Thanks for the comment Keri. One of the reasons I continue to post articles about gaming and libraries is that ALA and others have continuously pushed video games as a way to promote reading and literacy (see their $1 Million Dollar grant from Verizon).

    I don’t see how playing guitar hero or wii promotes literacy. I’ve played both. They’re games. Fine. Promote them as what they are.

    But don’t use them to promote literacy and reading. IMO, they are two separate things.

  4. Stefan Hayden
    August 10, 2008 at 10:05 pm #

    Guitar Hero doesn’t even come close to teaching you to play guitar but for some reason ever sine the game came out people who teach guitar have had a large influx of students. That’s not a coincidence.

    This is a great article about how people in Turkey sell rugs. It starts by offering direction to tourist destinations. These destinations have no rugs for sale. Crazy right? Well it turns out to sell a rug you first have to convince some one to come to your store and offering advice is a good way to do that.

    You see you have to get them in the door. Playing Rock band will never get me to read. But I have a much higher chance of taking a book out of the library if you first get me to the library. You have to get me in the door before I can leave with a book.

    I read this great article before (that I can’t find) about why reading is down over these past several of years. It turns out it’s Barnes and Noble’s fault. Or Big Box Book stores I should say. You see book spinner used to be a lot more common in every day stores and since people were near book they would occasionally by them. They were not looking for something to read but once they saw something interesting they were happy to read.

    Big box stores have kind of taken over the book spinner in other stores. People don’t go to the book store with a purpose as much as they would buy something on a whim. And because of the lack of book spinners people are exposed to fewer books.

    Getting people near books raises literacy. Period. How could being around book not raise literacy? Clearly you see a disconnect there. There are many who think Rock Band will stop young people from forming bands. But if you ask the people who teach guitar they will tell you. Guitar lessons are way up and there seems to be only one reason for that. Video games.

  5. Jake
    August 10, 2008 at 10:52 pm #

    A library doesn’t have to be all about reading…

    -An avid reader

  6. Melissa
    August 12, 2008 at 1:11 pm #

    I’ve been torn about gaming in libraries. I’m not sure what my opinion is until I see some cold hard statistics. Does anybody know where I can find some?

  7. Ed Tiegs
    October 12, 2008 at 1:43 pm #

    There is no evidence that Gamimg increases literacy, but without gaming, some young people will NEVER set foot in a library. Good luck turning THEM on the Shakespeare! If only one child gets hooked on reading as a result of coming into the library to game, then it’s worth it. Also, my daughter, a few years back danced on a DDR knock-off game called “Pump-it-Up” There was a version of one of Mozart’s classical works
    on the game…When we got home she HAD to find that piece and listen to it. She now is quite proficient at the French Horn because of it. Not quite reading, but it is an example of unintended learning…

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