Posts tagged gaming
Video Game Collection Development 101
1. Start small
I still stand by this idea 100%. You don’t have to go for broke with your new collection. I recently had a great conversation with Devin Burritt of the Jackson Memorial Library about starting up a video game collection. He made it happen at his library recently and started off with a small collection of Wii titles aimed at all ages. By keeping things small at the start, you will understand how your collection is being used by your patrons. With this information, you can continue to build your collection and have it guided by patron input. Which brings me to my second point…
2. Know your audience
Who will be playing these games? Your patrons. As fun as it is to buy video games, you have to put aside your personal preferences. Sure, I really dug Elite Beat Agents but you know what? My patrons didn’t. It’s one of the few games that constantly stays on the shelves here at my library. What did I learn from this? Don’t trust my gut reaction when purchasing games. Instead, TALK to your patrons when they’re browsing your game collection. Notice what they’re checking out. Heck, just simply ASK them what they want!
3. Plan ahead
You have to have a plan for your collection. Are you going to collect games for systems that are no longer supported by companies? Are you going to invest in the newest video game systems even though there is a chance they may not take off? Once again, gauging your patrons interests is key to planning ahead. At my library, we recently received a donation of Nintendo Gamecube and Playstation 1 and 2 games. I decided to add them into the collection just to see what people would think. It turns out that they circulate like mad and now I have people asking me to get a bigger selection of older titles. I’ve even had to submit an interlibrary loan request for a title I couldn’t find in print anywhere.
4. Gamer’s Advisory
Over the past year, I’ve found the topic of what I’m calling Gamer’s Advisory key to making a video game collection work in your library. Sure, you will most likely have a rabid set of patrons that will check out your games, but the collection only really starts to show its true worth when you can add recommendations (not just for other games, but for other materials and experiences the library can offer). Keep the patrons coming back for more at the library. Turn the avid gamers onto something that else that they may not have tried in the past.
5. It’s not just about lending physical items out
I’m a big fan of this topic. Libraries are struggling to grasp how to circulate electronic materials in the library. This is cause for some concern, but at the same time it opens up a new door for us. Instead of lending out items, create experiences. Give the patrons something they cannot get elsewhere. I bring up the example of the local Portland, ME store The Fun Box Monster Emporium. They’ve got a row of awesome pinball machines in their store that their customers can play. Why can’t libraries do something like this? Invest in some gaming tools that will give patrons gaming experiences that they can’t get everyday at the local video game store. Personally, I want to buy a Pac Man arcade machine for my teen lounge.
Calling all 8bit contributors and readers – time for some friendly competition! Working together, we can compile an awesome list of Reader’s Advisory recommendations based on our favorite games. Here’s how to play!
Leave a comment on this post with the following info:
- First, the game you’re using as a jumping off point. You can use console, PC, MMORPG, board games – whatever floats your boat – and give us a few words about why you love it.
- Then, three recommendations based on #1 – a book, a movie, and another game. Also, a quick explanation for why you chose each.
Next – the friendly competition part! Others will reply to your post giving your RA a score, out of a total 15 possible – 5 for synergy (“Those recommendations TOTALLY work together!”), 5 for originality (“Dude, I NEVER would have thought of that!”), and 5 for pure AWESOME (“OMGWTFBBQ, I need to go get those RIGHT NOW!!!”).
Winner gets eternal 8bit glory. All participants benefit from each other’s kickass ideas.
Let’s do this!! And I’ll go first…
Chances are, if you made it to 8bitlibrary.com, then you’re well aware of the benefits of gaming, including the development and reinforcement of various cognitive, literacy, and social skills. So the question is, what are you going to do in 2011 to enhance gaming services in your community? Our suggestion is expanding these programs to a new audience, and there is none better than children with special needs.
For complete information on the how and why of gaming for children with special needs, see the article from the December 2010 issue of School Library Journal, “Rated E for Everyone”. Then come back and check out this list of game recommendations and get a program started for this frequently under-served audience!
Card & Board Games
- ThinkFun Zingo is a fun, fast-moving matching game similar to Bingo in which players try to match up their picture card with tiles that are revealed by pulling on a Zinger. The first player to fill his or her picture card wins. This game is great because it accommodates 2 to 8 players, keeps kids engaged, teaches image and vocabulary recognition, reading, matching, memory, concentration, and encourages social skills such as taking turns, following rules, and sharing.
- I Spy Memory Game is a memory game, for 1-6 players, with riddles just like the I Spy book series, which can be played three different ways to accommodate younger and older players. This game helps young players to develop memory, reading, thinking and language skills, as well as important social skills such as taking turns, following rules, and sharing. Kids that enjoy reading I Spy books and playing I Spy computer games will enjoy this board game, which has simple rules, is easy to set up, and can be completed fairly quickly.
- Jenga is a stacking game consisting of wooden blocks that are big and easy to grab. This interactive, engaging, and tactile game teaches kids the importance of strategy and concentration, while improving dexterity and coordination. Jenga is great because the rules are simple, a game can be set up and completed fairly quickly, and requires only 1 or more to play.
- Pictionary Card Game is a fun, fast-moving card game that is played in teams as small as two, which combines the fun of Pictionary and Charades. Players race to act out the clues using only the simple images on the cards by combining them, building scenes with them or using them as props. This interactive game is great because no drawing is required, is easy to play, and improves concentration, while fostering imagination, creativity, thinking skills, teamwork and cooperation.
Sequence for Kids is a fun, fast-moving sequence game, similar to Bingo in some ways that preps kids for strategic thinking as they anticipate their opponents’ next move. This game is great because it only requires 2 to 4 players, fosters social skills such as taking turns, following rules, and sharing, and builds matching, pattern recognition, counting, and literacy skills.
- Wii Active Life Outdoor Challenge is a fitness game that will get kids up and moving, similar to Nintendo’s Wii Fit, in which players are actively engaged in a variety of 16 fun, energetic, fast-paced mini-games such as river rafting, mine-cart adventure, log jumping, see-saw, jump rope, water trampoline, and many more. Using a specially-designed eight pad Active Life mat, this game will help kids will improve their overall fitness level, sense of balance and coordination, eye-hand coordination, literacy skills (reading on-screen directions), as well as foster teamwork, cooperation, and social skills such as taking turns and sharing. (ESRB Rating: E for Everyone)
Wii Boom Blox Bash Party is the exciting sequel to Wii Boom Blox that challenges the players’ reflexes, dexterity, and problem-solving skills. Like the original Boom Blox, players use the Wii Remote to direct objects and forces toward structures made of blocks in order to knock them over. The Jenga-like gameplay requires players to pull out blocks, with the goal of toppling over as many blocks as possible, without bringing down the entire structure, and like Jenga, kids will learn strategy skills, improve dexterity, and observe physics in action. Wii Boom Blox Bash Party is great for all ages, is easy to play, and features quick games that foster teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration. (ESRB Rating: E for Everyone)
Wii Just Dance 2 is the energizing sequel to Just Dance, featuring 45 songs that can be used in four different dance modes to help kids improve their overall coordination and physical fitness levels, build teamwork and social skills such as sharing and taking turns, and work on memory, pattern recognition and following instructions. Basically, players hold a Wiimote in their right hand, and copy dance moves presented by an animated dancer presented on the screen. Just Dance 2 is suitable for tweens and teens, but if you have a younger audience, you may also want the very recently released Just Dance Kids (ESRB Rating: E for Everyone), which will contain more age-appropriate songs and lyrics targeted toward a younger age group, which also helps kids work on similar skills as noted for Just Dance 2. (ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+)
Wii Party is an interactive and engaging kid-friendly party game featuring 13 different party game modes and 70+ mini-games, which provide kids with lots of variety that includes cooperative and competitive gameplay that turns over quickly to keep the game moving. This game helps kids improve their eye-hand coordination, builds literacy skills (like Wii Sports and Wii Sports Resort, players can read on-screen instructions for help), and social skills (taking turns and sharing with other players). (ESRB Rating: E for Everyone)
Wii Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party is the third Wii game in UBI Soft’s popular Rayman Raving Rabbids series, and features 60+ fun, quick minigames. The “rabbids” are bunny-like creatures who communicate by screaming and occasionally hitting each other with any object that comes into their hands. The rabbids have taken over the TV stations, broadcasting a series of nonsense shows in an effort to drive Rayman crazy. Players will discover new and innovative ways to play with eight types of gameplay, which will help them improve their sense of precision, dexterity, balance, and coordination, and reading written instructions to complete the mini-games will help kids improve their literacy skills. This game also fosters teamwork, cooperation, and social skills as kids practice taking turns and sharing. (ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+)Game reviews by Peggy Wong, Children’s Services Librarian, Piscataway Public Librarypwong AT lmxac DOT org
I got really excited when I got an email with an 8bitlibrary.com Retro Gaming Day press release in it! Big shouts to our own MaMcGinley & RedheadFangirl for setting this all up. Hope to see some of our readers at the event:
Saturday, September 11, 12 – 4 PM
The 8bitlibrary.com Retro Gaming Day
The first ever Retro Game Day will be conveniently located in central NJ at Piscataway Public Library! Cool panel speakers on retro games, and open play on old school platforms like SNES, Gameboy, Xbox! From Pac-Man to Mario to World of Warcraft, learn and play with the 8bitlibrary.com bloggers and librarians. See you there!
Piscataway Public Library
500 Hoes Ln, Piscataway, NJ
A few years ago, I was turned on to a fun little game that I wanted to share with you.
It is called “5 Clicks to Jesus” and the rules are simple:
ONLY use your mouse.
Go to the main Wikipedia page and click on “Random Article”. From there, using only the links within the Wikipedia articles, you have 5 mouse clicks to get to the Wikipedia article on Jesus.
I found it a bit too easy after playing for awhile. Additional rules, such as not being allowed to click on the articles for Years or Countries, will increase the difficulty.
The variation we liked to use is “5 clicks to Batman”. And getting to this guy doesn’t count:
Teachers & Librarians who prefer print encyclopedias over Wikipedia are ruining the fun for us gamers.
Feel free to share any 5 click paths that were especially fun or difficult with us in the comment box below!
As part of the Wizard World comicon in Philly, there is a sanctioned gaming– Magic, Pokemon, Dungeons & Dragons. Some are free, some have a cost. These are all games I’m super unfamiliar with personally, but recognize their following! Last year there were also many gaming vendors selling retro systems, games, and there were demo stations for videogaming.
Of course, there are also tons of comic artists, writers, creators, Tshirts, and all geekery! Join me there!
I’m hoping to meet Bruce Campbell!