“The Downtown Central Library is getting gamers geared up for Comic-Con in a unique way. The public library has launched an alternate reality game that participants say is the perfect way to prepare for the upcoming four-day expo. “An alternate reality game is an interactive story that takes place in real time, in a real world setting such as here in Central Library, which involves players solving puzzles and perfuming activities,” said Erwin Magbanua, Special Events Librarian. Magbanua said the Central Library is one of just a handful of libraries across the country that has ever tried something like this. The clues appear in email form and online as well as in the library.” (via KSWB)
“For some, the image of the public library is one of quiet spaces and dusty hardback books, but for a handful of Massachusetts librarians, the term evokes something quite different: The preservation of video games. >Four such librarians work within the Minuteman Library Network, a consortium of 43 public and college libraries in Metrowest. Their respective philosophies are unique, but they all agree that one of a library’s most sacred tasks is to archive cultural artifacts and video games – just like books, music, and film – fit that bill.” (via Boston.com)
“A team of students have won a prestigious competition after using videogame technology to turn historic maps and engravings from the British Library into a stunning 3D environment. Pudding Lane Productions, a team of six second-year students from De Montfort University, Leicester, scooped first prize in the Off the Map challenge – a nationwide initiative sponsored by game developer Crytek and run in conjunction with the British Library and GameCity. Their success was announced during a special event to showcase the best of the Off the Map entries as part of GameCity8, the annual festival of videogame culture currently being held in Nottingham (October 19 to October 26).” (British Library)
“Rejecting claims of a direct link between violent video games and violent behavior, Elmhurst Public Library board members Tuesday turned down requests by a small group of residents to change the library’s selection policy for violent video games. “There’s no evidence I can see between these games and violent behavior,” said library director Mary Beth Campe. Campe and board members made clear they see the inclusion of the materials in the library’s collection as an issue of First Amendment freedom of expression.” (via Chicago Tribune)
“Walk into any public library and, of course, you see books, reference materials, newspapers, magazines, and all types of the printed word. We might also see comic books, manga, and less traditional “literature.” These days, we encounter film, television, music, internet-connected computers, and other digital media. But video games? Libraries lend video games, and they have been for some time. Some folks might think video games have no place in public institutions. Some articles on the web assume that readers will cringe when they hear that this is happening. Libraries and librarians, however, seem to overwhelmingly support the practice.”
Montreal Gazette – “Montreal’s major video-game studios will help the city more than quadruple its collection of video games in local libraries. Ubisoft Montreal, Electronic Arts Canada, and Eidos Montreal announced on Friday they’ll donate 1,590 copies of video games to help bolster the collection of Montreal’s library network.
The agreement will allow games to be loaned out in all of Montreal’s 27 libraries, where previously only eight libraries had games collections. Montreal plans to make purchases to increase its total video-game collection from 1,280 to 5,000.”
McClatchy – “Imagine walking into a public library filled with PlayStations, Wii game consoles and electric keyboards pumped up to maximum volume. Teenagers are munching on snacks, checking out laptops and slouching on sofas or beanbags. A carousel of computers sits in the middle, navigated to Facebook. That’s exactly how one enormous room on the ground floor of the Chicago Public Library’s main branch functions. And this noisy library model is expanding around the country. The Miami-Dade Public Library in Florida is opening a high-tech teen room in December. The Hartford Public Library of Connecticut will open one next year. Four museums and eight libraries — from California to Missouri to Pennsylvania _recently received a total of $1.2 million in grants to design new teen spaces for the digital age.”
LJ – “Incoming freshman at Fairfield University in Fairfield, Connecticut, don’t have to go on a guided tour to learn more about their school’s library services. Instead the staff at the DiMenna-Nyselius Library can point their patrons toward another instructive resource – a videogame. Inspired by Scene it, a series of popular DVD games that has players watch video clips to answer trivia questions, Library Scene: Fairfield Edition is a web-based game developed by the University’s Media Center and reference librarians that follows four students as they travel through key areas of the school’s DiMenna-Nyselius library to complete a 10-page research paper assignment.”
Chicago Sun Times – “For some students at DePaul University and a few other colleges, video games are now part of the curriculum.
DePaul is one of a growing number of university libraries housing video game collections for student research into game design, the school said. Other universities with collections include Illinois, Stanford and Michigan.
The collection was first proposed by Jose Zagal, assistant professor of computing and digital media, who authored the book, “Ludoliteracy: Designing, Understanding and Supporting Games Education.”
Telegraph – “In a speech she will say there is an urgent need to investigate the impact of the computer environment on children's brains. The professor of synaptic pharmacology at Lincoln College, Oxford, has previously warned that children's obsessions with websites such as Facebook or Twitter may leave them with poor attention spans and an inability to relate to others in the real world.”