Category Archives: Gaming & Gamers in Libraries

Ms. Pac Man at the Chattanooga Public Library (by TTW contributor Justin Hoenke)

Photo Jun 01, 4 42 27 PM
This is what it’s all about: A tween and his Dad enjoy Ms. Pac Man at the Library

When I was a teenager, I spent most if not all of my time in video game arcades in shopping malls.  It was the time of fighting games…Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, World Heroes, Primal Rage, and many, many more.  Who knows how much money I spent playing those games and more importantly, who cares.  What mattered most (and what sticks with me to this day) was being in the same room with people my age who enjoyed the same things as me.  It was exciting.  It was fun.  It created friendships and community.

Video gaming in libraries isn’t a new thing.  It seems to have picked up steam in the last decade and is now something that most libraries will offer to their communities.  This is a good thing: video games can be fun, rewarding, help those playing them understand stories/character/plot, and so much more.

I’ve always wanted to recreate that vibe that I felt back when I used to frequent the arcade in the public library.  It was exciting to stand around an arcade machine and watch someone get as far as they could in a game on one quarter.  It was exciting to go one-on-one with someone in a game like Street Fighter II or Mortal Kombat.  Public libraries are places where people come together and experience something.  Why not have a bit of that something be an arcade machine?

It has been a dream of mine to get an arcade machine in a library since I started in libraries back in 2007 and this past week, thanks to the Friends of the Chattanooga Public Library the support of the staff at the Chattanooga Public Library, and my wife Haley (she found it on Craigslist for only $150!), we now have an original Ms. Pac Man arcade machine on the 2nd Floor of the library…and it has been a great thing.  I love seeing the reaction people have when they realize that the library has an arcade machine.  I love seeing families (like the photo above) playing it together.  I love seeing the teens gather round and have tournaments to see who can get the highest score.

I cannot wait to see the community and friendships that this little ‘ol machine will create.

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

Badges for Teens – A TTW Guest Post by Steve Campion

Every year Pierce County Library System unveils a new Summer Reading Program. This year we’ve taken the teen program online (Teen Summer Challenge http://teensummerchallenge.org/) and challenged participants to explore their interests, their library, and their community through activities and masteries. Challengers can share their experiences, earn badges and achievements, interact with friends, claim their mastery of an activity group, earn library fine rebates, and share reviews of the books, music, movies, and places they love. Best of all, teens throughout out county library system can participate in the challenge together in one place!

The program has been going for more than a month so far and involvement is more than twice what it was last year. David Durante, one of the project managers, has promised the Youth Services librarians not to shave for a year if we exceed 2000 participants, and of course that’s elevated enthusiasm levels. What’s most remarkable to me is that this elaborate, interactive website was built on WordPress for less than $250. Kudos to librarian Patrick McVicker, its principal designer, for that. (Contact him at pmcvicker@piercecountylibrary.org)

We asked staff to beta test all of this in May. Over 150 did so, and they loved it. A few staff found themselves playing late into the night. Now that the teens got a month’s headstart, librarians outside Pierce County are welcome to sign in and try it out if they’re interested. Earn a badge or two.
Steve Campion is Library Trainer and IT Specialist at Pierce County Library System in Tacoma, WA. He is a principal contributor to the library’s social media sites and author/editor of Mostly NF and WA-List.com.

German-American Gaming League (by TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke)

I had the honor of helping unveil the German-American Gaming League while I was in Hamburg last month for the Bibliothekartag Library Conference.  If you’re interested in the league, please visit this link for more information (please note: the page is in German, so have Google Translate handy!)

What is the German-American gaming league?

In the gaming league take people from Germany and the United States in an open competition against each other. Here are several computer games such as Wii bowling and playing Mario Kart.

Why did the German-American gaming league?

We believe that gaming will have a major impact on the culture and knowledge in the future. With this and many other projects we want to prepare cultural and educational institutions at that future. We would also like to develop an international network on the topic of gaming. Our colleagues in the United States are already implementing for many years a gaming league. There is even a National Gaming Day.We now want to expand this league to Germany, thus ensuring a sustainable and interdisciplinary networking.

Furthermore, we want to network with this project, the institutions with gamers.

Where are the competitions?

The competitions are held in participating libraries, museums and archives.

What is the cost to attend the gaming league?

Participation in the gaming league is for both the players and for the institutions in which the competitions take place absolutely free.

Who can play?

The gaming league is open to every person who has the desire to join in playing video games. There is no age restriction.

What games are played?

There are only played games with no age restriction. We begin in the first season with Wii bowling and Mario Kart. More games will follow.

When will the gaming league, and how long a season?

The Gaming League was officially launched in the Library Conference 2012 in Hamburg. This means that from now on, they can enter institutions. The gaming events in Germany are said to have taken place up to 30.11.2012, ie on 01.12.2012, we want to present the German champion, then travel to the finals in the United States. The next round will begin in June 2013.

Important: The registration period ends on July 20, 2012 , and we start with 20 institutions – first come, first play, first :-)

Who makes the gaming league?

The Gaming League is a cooperative project of the U.S. Embassy in Berlin, the association Zukunftswerkstatt culture and knowledge eV and libraries and gaming lovers from Germany and the United States.

Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

Zukunftwerkstatt invites TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke to Bibliothekartag

Great news! In partnership with the Zukunftwerkstatt, TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke will be speaking at the 2012 Bibliothekartag!

http://justinthelibrarian.com/2012/05/01/bibliothekartag-in-hamburg-germany-may-20-25-2012/

You can find more information about the conference here:http://www.bibliothekartag2012.de/

I will be in Hamburg from May 21th to the 25th to attend and present at the conference.  During my time there, I will be presenting on the following topics:

  •  Help unveil the German/American Gaming Library/Museum/Archive League, which was developed in collaboration with Eli Neiburger and Christoph Deeg.
  • Present on the topic of gaming in libraries and share my experiences with implementing video game programs and collections with German librarians.
  • Participate in a workshop for librarians on how we can possibly  change the management structure of libraries in the future (for more information, please see these two posts: http://goo.gl/DI0cc and http://goo.gl/Cxpqv)
  • And finally, of course, enjoying some video games with librarians from Europe!
I was honored to be a founding member of the Zukunftwerkstatt in 2010 and am pleased the group is bringing Justin to Germany.

Nintendo 3DS and the Louvre

What a great partnership.  I’ve been playing Kid Icarus: Uprising on my 3DS for the past few weeks and have been enjoying the experience quite a bit.  The 3DS is a neat little system and from what I see here in this video it makes the Louvre experience even cooler.

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

Zukunftswerkstatt Gaming Roadshow @ the Mannheim Library

Gaming Roadshow Panel Discussion (from http://goo.gl/gQgFB) at the Mannheim Library

Christoph Deeg has been doing an amazing job touring libraries in Europe with the Zukunftswerkstatt Gaming Roadshow opening up discussion about gaming and libraries.  This past week, the Roadshow made a stop at the Mannheim Library and held their program and panel discussion on gaming.  If you’re interested, check out this write up of the event here.

The roadshow panel discussion brought up a great question:

We discussed how interactive games can be used specifically in the culture and knowledge of the role they play in society, which can help libraries, schools or other institutions to technology and how it even more into everyday life, eg for language and reading skills, can be integrated and used.

For more information on the Roadshow, please visit Zukunftswerkstatt Gaming Roadshow

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

 

National Gaming Day @ your Library 2011

National Gaming Day @ Your Library 2011 is just SIX weeks away!  Has your library signed up yet?

If not, you can sign up for National Gaming Day 2011 HERE!  Sign up now to be eligible for 2 of the donations from official sponsor and partner FamilyAndPartyGames.com.

Follow along for tons of gaming tips and information here:

NGD 2011 Blog
NGD 2011 Twitter 
NGD 2011 Facebook 

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor

 

Double Jump looks at “Libraries and Gaming”

Double Jump is Michigan’s only local game show. Each episode host Dan Hartley explores gaming as a legitimate and mainstream form of art and entertainment. We’ll explore the various facets of the medium itself with experts and designers, as well as games’ impact on Michigan industries. Independent and local developers also have a voice here as well as any industries and educational facilities tied to them.

Libraries are one of our nation’s oldest institutions, and gaming one of our newest. What happens with these two disparate worlds meet? In the first segment of “Libraries and Gaming”, Double Jump looks at LCC’s game room and University of Michigan’s open videogame archive talking to librarians about the future of libraries and gaming’s place in it.

For more info on Double Jump:
www.lcc.edu/tv/shows/doublejump
fb.com/LCCTVDoubleJump
@LCCTVDoubleJump
lcctvdoublejump.blogspot.com

How awesome, and this is just the sneak peak.  I’ll be keeping my eye on this series as they dive into the world of Libraries and Gaming and I’ll make sure to share here at TTW.

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor


8BitLibrary.com: The Collected Writings of Justin Hoenke

Originally uploaded by The Shifted Librarian (thanks Jenny!)

8BitLibrary: The Collected Writings of Justin Hoenke: December 2009-July 2011

It has been a fun almost 2 years.  We’ve danced, we’ve went out and got tattoos, and most of all we’ve talked about video games a lot.  But sometimes things just need to come to an end, and my part in 8BitLibrary has come to an end.

Since I’m a librarian and all that, I’ve decided to organize my 8BitLibrary writings in a nice little PDF and post it here for anyone to read or download.

I hope you enjoy my writings.  I’ll continue to write about gaming in libraries here on Tame The Web from time to time, so stay tuned!

-Post by Justin Hoenke,Tame the Web Contributor