Tag Archives: Video Games

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

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

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


DePaul levels up on video game collection

Via nwi.com:

I’ve actually done research on students who are learning game design and about games,” said Jose Zagal, a game development professor at DePaul. “And it is quite often the case that they’ll have a very narrow view of games.”

Jim Galbraith, associate director of collections at DePaul’s library, hopes the collection will draw the wider student body while supplementing what’s taught in game design and computer science classes.

 

You can read the rest of the article here.  Is your library doing something like this?  As a big advocate for video gaming in libraries, I’m happy to see universities starting to collect games.  I’m most excited about seeing how their retro gaming collection develops.

Also, made sure you check out their sidebar “Video Game Canon” discussion.  Do you agree with their selection of games in the Video Game Canon?  What would you add?  Take away?

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor


How to Raise Boys Who Read (Hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes)

How to Raise Boys Who Read (Hint: Not with gross-out books and video-game bribes)

I think what I hate seeing in these types of articles is the general “GAMES BAD BOOKS GOOD” thing (for the full effect, imagine The Incredible Hulk saying that).  Perhaps I’m only seeing this because of my interest in gaming (I am one of the co-founders of 8BitLibrary.com).  I don’t know.  I try to read articles like that from the approach of my parents, who are middle class, everyday blue collar folks who have their high school diploma.  What would they think?  I think they’d come to the conclusion that games are bad and reading is good.  Especially with a headline like that.

That worries me a bit as someone who got a lot out of video games.  I didn’t read a lot, but I played a lot of games.  Some had great stories, some had crap stories.  The same thing applies to a lot of books out there.  I felt like what I was doing was the equivalent to reading in some way.  I was participating in stories with characters/drama/plot/etc.  The only difference is that my reading was a bit interactive.  I got a lot of enjoyment out of these stories.  The characters and their quests are still with me to this day.

I also think playing video games led me to a lot of reading which I wouldn’t have done before video games. I read a lot of gaming magazines and comics.  That led to graphic novels and some sci-fi (actual books!).  I wasn’t the best gamer in the world so sometimes I resorted to using strategy guides.  That’s reading too!

Do I think it ate into reading time?  I think it was my reading time.

-Post by Justin Hoenke, Tame the Web Contributor

The Graveyard

At my library, we recently started up a circulating video game collection.  Since we didn’t have a huge budget and we knew the collection was going to be rather small, we opted to go stark naked with security.  There’s also an amazing vibe here in Portland, Maine.  People really have a lot of trust in each other and everyone has a lot of faith in each other.  We put the games out on the shelf in the cases, did our best to monitor things, and went about our business at the library.

Recently, we’ve had some stuff stolen.  Instead of going all hush hush about it, my teen library co-conspirator Michael W. and I put together a little graveyard to remember the games that have been swiped.  Our goal wasn’t to shame the thieves into returning the games.  Instead, we wanted to show our community that this is a real problem and that while, yes, we’re a bit upset, it’s not us who’s hurt the most.  It’s the community that’s hurt the most.

It sounds like a passive aggressive thing, but I assure you that’s not where we’re coming from.  Often times, when something bad happens in libraries we’re trying our best to keep it quiet.  Instead, we’re talking about it and attempting to create a discussion.  Has it worked?  Lots of folks are coming around to the teen library and when they leave we’re having to pick their jaws up off the floor.  They’re amazed that people could steal from a library and at the same time they want to know what they can do to help.  Sure, maybe we lost a few games, but in the end I think we’re creating a stronger, more aware community, one that respects and loves its library.

——

The aftermath?  We’re going to start storing the games behind our desk.  It protects our investment but even better yet it ensures that these games will be part of the library for a long time for the rest of the community to enjoy.

By TTW Contributor Justin Hoenke