Posts tagged xbox live

#libgaming (Topic: June 16, 2010: Best of E3)

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#libgaming will discuss the following topic today at 4pm EST on Twitter

How will E3′s announcements this week affect your future gaming-in-libraries decisions?

I understand that you may not have had time to keep up with the E3 announcements. You can catch up: 1up.com’s Microsoft E3 presentation coverage, gamepro.com’s Nintendo E3 presentation highlights,  gamespot.com’s full Sony E3 presentation video.

@8bitlibrary on Twitter tweeted highlights of all three press conference while they were happening, so be sure to follow us to stay up-to-date with the latest news in gaming.

And don’t worry, as our discussion reveals itself, much bigger issues than E3 2010 will be raised!

Digital Distribution for Libraries

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This post was originally going to be a review of the Rock Band Network/Rock Band Music Store for Xbox 360. Since the start of 8bitlibrary.com, JustinLibrarian and I have sweated over the answer to this question: how can libraries develop a successful video game collection when so many new games are reliant on DLC (which Nintendo, Sony, AND Microsoft have all set up as closed distribution systems completely controlled by them). How can a library, which has a goal of circulating media, circulate content so closed and controlled that it is impossible to use by anyone except the person who purchased it?

File this under “We don’t have all the answers.

And, of course, librarians across the country are wrestling with this same question, albeit for other forms of media. How can we distribute digital music when iTunes (& to a lesser extent, Amazon and the like) have already taken away our ability to do that? While there are some very expensive (and, in my opinion, very clunky and not-iTunes-like) vendor-controlled options such as Overdrive, Naxos Music, & Freegal, this is just a “patch” that we have while we, as a library community, decide to either get serious about digital distribution or continue to tread water.

A current trending topic of concern in libraries is eBook distribution. How can we loan an eBook on an eBook reader if that content is closed and controlled by a large corporation?

Along that “we don’t have all the answers” line, I decided to go to an expert on the topic, Mr. Libraryman Michael Porter. He has wrestled with the larger distribution issue, just as we are on the smaller (albiet still gigantic) issue of game content distribution. So I asked him,

  • How do you feel libraries will be distributing digital media in 2015?

He gave this well-reasoned response:

I imagine two most likely scenarios with little gray in between the potential outcomes.  For both, the lynchpin is either succeeding or failing to develop a new electronic content access and distribution infrastructure via libraries.  If we can develop that new infrastructure and make it a truly effective, competitive, well used and well liked place for people to get what they want, when they want it, in the format they want it *through the library*, then our future will be more secure and on-target than ever before.  If we fail to do this though, libraries will fade in use, funding and relevance.  This would eventually lead to the demise of the library as the hub of content access and community engagement and turn many of those functions over to for profit business and institutions that have mission statement tied to profit rather than the health and wisdom of the community and country they serve.

This is a call to action for all of us. We shouldn’t just wait for a vendor to develop a platform for us. We shouldn’t let something as simple as a library’s ability to loan a book be taken away by corporations in the digital age. We need to raise this issue. If we want libraries to continue to exist, we need to let go of our comfort and get on the front lines of this issue.

So there is no confusion, I am not anti-corporation, per se. Corporations can be our partners in it the future. And, so my last words will be positive, we can do it.

Thanks go out to Michael Porter from us at 8bitlibrary.com. Check out his Library 101 project, if you haven’t yet.

Librarians and Teachers on Xbox Live: Get In Here!!

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If you are a librarian or teacher on Xbox Live, join us!

R.I.P. to online play for Halo 2

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Well, 8bitlibrary.com, this is it. The last day to play Halo 2 on Xbox Live.

We would love for you to leave a comment in the comment box. Memories? The good times; the bad? Was this the first game you spent considerable time playing online? Do you remember where you were the first day you ever went online with Halo 2? How about your very first online frag in Halo 2?

And for those of you who really aren’t vested in the game, the main character was featured on the cover of Library Journal in 2005. My own personal analogy for how important Halo 2 was to online console gaming: Halo 2 is the Super Mario Bros 3 of online play.

On behalf of everyone here at 8bitlibrary.com, Thanks for the memories, Halo 2!

Gaming in Schools & Libraries Conference

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The “Women in Games” conference, canceled. TOTAL BUMMER. But that got me thinking…

click for the story on the cancellation...

While this idea is not original and ALA has hosted similar events, I still feel like the time is right for an annual Gaming in Libraries conference. There are so many issues to address: Collection Development, Literary elements of gaming, diversity issues, how gaming can be used as an advocacy tool, gaming & information literacy, gaming across the curriculum (and gaming as a teaching tool), gaming as way to boost circulating materials collections, gaming as a marketing tool, LoFi gaming (board & card games). There could also be lots of related technology elements: mobile phones & library service (make no mistake, foursquare is a game), implementing gaming into your Library 2.0 program (think Farmville), QR codes in schools & libraries (a scavenger hunt game), texting as a teaching tool. We could also expand it to Gaming in Schools & Libraries Conference, which would more than double the opportunities for both conference programs and attendance. The issues are there, and the thinkers/presenters are there. This would probably also be one of the more fun conferences around, because at its root, games are fun.

Here’s my questions: Is the time right? Would you attend? If your library didn’t sponsor your attendance, would you still be interested? How pumped would you be to play Xbox Live’s 1 v 100 with a roomful of teachers and librarians? (YOU KNOW we’d take top score)

halo3_box_front

Review: Halo 3

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[JP's note: Let's welcome 8bitlibrary.com's newest contributor, Brandon, who's reviewing one of the best games of the modern gaming era.]

WHAT? Arguably the flagship game of the Xbox 360, Halo 3 is the conclusion of the much-loved Halo trilogy that began on the original Xbox and is one of the most-played online multiplayer games in existence.  In the single-player campaign, gamers take on the role of Master Chief Petty Officer John-117, a Spartan super soldier born and bred to combat the theocratic Covenant, an army of alien races who believe they are on a holy mission to eliminate humanity.  The real draw for this series, however, is the highly-competitive, fast-paced multiplayer, which pits players against each other in armed combat on some of the most well-designed maps ever seen in a video game.  Gamers who aren’t very competitive need not worry about being left out; up to four players can work together to finish the game’s campaign mode.

WHY? The Halo universe is one of the richest, most engaging fictional universes out there, rivaling that of Star Wars and Lord of the Rings.   Even gamers who aren’t fans know the story of Master Chief and his unending fight against the Covenant.  The multiplayer mode sees over a million unique players a day.  Unless your library has a definitive hard-line policy against M-rated games, not having Halo 3 on the shelf is akin to not having the Twilight series, the Harry Potter series, or anything by Stephen King in your fiction collection.  As for programming possibilities, you could spend an entire gaming festival around Halo 3; there are so many game modes for both “lone wolf” and team play, you’ll never run out of ideas.

WHO? The elephant in the room is the M rating; the ESRB has determined that this game is inappropriate for anyone under the age of 17.  You’ll want to keep that in mind as you circulate this game and plan programs around it.  Also, this is definitely a hardcore gamer’s game: you’ll probably not want to set this up beside Wii Sports and Guitar Hero, games which are more relaxed and tend to draw new gamers in, not scare them away.  Halo 3 gamers are competitive and dedicated, so be prepared to possibly entertain a bit less of a laid-back social crowd than you are accustomed to.  It’s not all about the pwnage with Halo 3, however.  The rich fiction in the game has spawned numerous books, comics, and even an anthology of short animated films; it’s an exercise in multimedia advisory all by itself.

Review: Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

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What? Geometry Wars is one of the top downloaded games on Xbox Live Arcade, and for good reason. This is a highly addictive game that has nothing to do with mathematics. It’s a throwback to 80s shootemups, and manages to be just as fun.

Why? Geometry Wars has this colorful modern game aesthetic, but keeps all the intrigue of the 80s arcade classic Asteroids. It also has an amazing soundtrack and great multiplayer modes (competitive and collaborative).

Who? It is a game that is easy to play, because it only requires you to use the Xbox’s two “joysticks” (so, no button pressing). This makes the game easy to play for young/old/new gamers, but mastering it is a feat that only the greatest gamers can achieve. Scalability is what separates good games from great games (easy to learn, difficult to master), and this IS a great game. Unfortunately, libraries won’t be able to add it to a loanable collection, because it is only available as a downloadable title for 360. This IS, however, THE game that every library with an Xbox 360 should download. There is a similar title, Geometry Wars: Galaxies, that is available for multiple gaming platforms. It is an inferior title, but still gets the basics of the fun game play and you can buy a physical copy for your school or library’s loanable collection.

Gameplay:

Remember Asteroids?

Microsoft to Make Windows Mobile a Gaming Platform at Last (via Mashable)

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Microsoft to Make Windows Mobile a Gaming Platform at Last (via Mashable)

What do you think about this?  Could the connection between mobile and XBox Live be the one thing that puts Microsoft over Apple in the mobile gaming platform wars?

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