Posts tagged programming
Rumor has it that the Wii 2 is on its way. With reports of Wii system prices dropping to $169.99 at select retailers as well as other bundles of information flying off of the blogs of video game websites (“it’ll be fast! it’ll have pretty graphics! it is coming in June!) it’s easy to get caught up in the fever and think that this is the end of the Wii for you library collection and/or programming.
Well, don’t worry.
The Wii has a strong library of 968 games (as of December 2010) with more to be released in the near future. The total number of systems that have been shipped is 84 million, making it Nintendo’s biggest home video game system to date. Chances are that the people using your library will continue to use their Wii systems for their gaming entertainment for years to come, so providing them with games to enjoy is still a solid strategy for library video game collections.
When it comes to video game programming, I myself believe that you can’t go wrong with a Wii system and a library full of patrons. Most, if not all, of the 4 player games for the system have an insanely high replay value which will keep players having fun. The biggest complaint that will most likely come when the next generation Nintendo system is released is that the Wii is “old and that we want to play something new”. What do I say to that? I say give them options. When the next generation of video games come around, libraries will have to invest the time and money into obtaining these systems and learning about them and what they offer our patrons. But that doesn’t mean that we should just give up on the Wii. Use it as you have always been using it for programs. The games speak for themselves…they are enjoyable and full of entertainment, so let them do the talking.
- National Library Unconference Day ’11. What IS an unconference, you ask? Try out this video by Allen McGinley & I talking about our recent Remixing Libraries unconference, and check back often for more info. We’ll be posting how-to guides, videos, and tips on how to run a great unconference.
- Save the date: May 2nd, 2011, 1pm EST. More info to follow this month.
- At your library for a staff development day. Or an unconference for a regional library cooperative. Maybe something hosted at a state library? Or hosted by your state or regional library association. A great place to hold an uncon for National Library Unconference Day ’11 is at an LIS school. It’s totally up to you!
- The sage-on-the-stage lecture presentation style of a traditional conference is losing relevance in our world of immediate communication. At an unconference, the participants are the experts, and ideas grow organically. I’ve watched this video over and over, and this is exactly the type of motivating event that the speaker is talking about!
We’ll be streaming a free keynote session to all participating librarians, libraries and library organizations. Our confirmed speakers so far include:
- Michael Stephens, Assistant Professor in the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois and founder of http://tametheweb.com/.
- Jaime Hammond, Reference and Serials Librarian at Naugatuck Valley Community College in Waterbury, CT., library-as-space advocate and chair of the ALA’s Emerging Leaders IG Steering Committee.
- Allen McGinley, Department Head in the Piscataway NJ Public Library, National Library Unconference Day ’11 organizer, Gaming for Children With Special Needs advocate, and leader of 8bitlibrary.com‘s #makeithappen initiative.
- JP Porcaro, aka me, founder of 8bitlibrary.com, Virtual Services librarian at New Jersey City University, and world’s self-described expert on Pokemon & libraries.
- Justin Hoenke, founder of 8BitLibrary.com, Teen Librarian at the Portland (ME) Public Library, contributor over at Tame The Web.
- Eli Neiburger, librarian in the Ann Arbor MI District Library, author of Gamers…in the Library?! The Why, What, and How of Videogame Tournaments for All Ages, Library Renewal board member, and Patron Saint of 8bitlibrary.com.
- Soon enough, we’ll have a link up for you to sign up your unconference to receive the FREE keynote lightning talks webinar. For now, mark your calendars, organize your group, and get ready to change the world. Once you sign up, we’re imaging you’d use a computer + a projector to screen the keynote to your local participants, then you’d get to your individual unconference. We’ll have a constant digital conversation on Twitter via hashtag #libuncon. And we’re hoping people share what they learned and accomplished via blog posts and youtube videos!
MARK THOSE CALENDARS NOW, and #makeithappen! signed, JP & the 8bitlibrary.com team.
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
On September 11th, 2010, the East Coast’s contingent of the 8bitlibrary.com Crew will be hosting our first ever Retro Gaming Festival at the Kennedy Branch of the Piscataway NJ Public Library.
While we are still in the planning stages, we will sure to be having nostalgic game demos from some of our favorite video game consoles of all time, high-score competitions, discussions (including 8bitlibrary‘s own RedheadFangirl speaking on being a girl gamer from the 80s-today), D&D and Magic the Gathering Tournies, and “modern classics” like Guitar Hero 1.
What would you like to see at an event like that? Have you run a similar event and would like to share your favorite stories? Are you interested in making the trek out to Central Jersey and attending the event? Leave a comment in the box!
(and for out-of-towners serious about coming to the event, let’s work together on travel & housing arragements to hopefully make it possible for you)
FYI, the largest gathering of gaming-in-libraries personalities from across the country will be at the ALA Open Gaming event on Friday, June 25th at 7:30pm in the Renaissance Ballroom at the Renaissance Hotel. You can RSVP on facebook here. It is an official ALA Annual Conference event hosted by the Games & Gaming Members Interest Group and sponsored by Neal-Schuman and Information Today.
The 8bit team will be in attendance handing out 8bitlibrary.com stickers and promoting the message that “games in libraries = good”. JP & Justin will, in fact, be handing out stickers everywhere we go, from Thursday night before conference to the very end of the conference on Tuesday, so track us down :)
Hello, 8bitlibrarians! I’ve written so much about Pokemon in libraries that I have ignored how cool it is to see libraries actually using Pokemon! So here’s some fun Flickr finds:
Here are some youngins at a Pokemon card trade-off at Wilmette Public Library in Wilmette, Illinois.
Some older folks playing Pokemon at St. Joseph County Public Library in South Bend, Indiana.
Here is an eye catching awesome advertisement flyer for a Pokemon Rumble program at the Lester Public Library in Two Rivers, Wisconsin.
Here we have a fun display of Pokemon manga at the Ridgedale Library in Monnetonka, Minnesota.
Some adults playing Pokemon Monopoly.
Here we have Gaming-in-Libraries guru and author of Gamers…in the Library?! The Why, What, and How of Videogame Tournaments for All Ages, Eli Neiburger, running a Pokemon event. Pulled off the American Library Association Flickr account!
Is your school or library including Pokemon? Let me know! firstname.lastname@example.org