TTW Mailbox: Library 2.0 & Gaming

On May 12th, Jenny Levine and I keynoted SJCPL’s Staff Day. It was a weird thing to come back to the library where I spent almost 15 years but it was so wonderful to see folks I’ve missed. The staff is pretty incredible and were fired up about thinking about change. We did a version of the “Barriers Exercise” I’ve used in Minnesota and in other workshops. It gets folks thinking about how we send messages to our users…. and what experience they have in libraries.

Yesterday, I received an email from Pedro, one of SJCPL’s gaming maestros. He mentioned at Staff day that L2 tjinking and Nintendo’s plans for gaming seemed similar. I asked him to tell me more. Here’s his emai:

So, it’s taken me awhile to get this together, and with me being sick all last week and the ever popular gaming, it’s been rough finding time to find this info like I promised. But here it is.

As I mentioned to you at Staff Day, alot of the themes that you are pushing for Library 2.0 are the same or similar to Nintendo’s current game plan. Where you talk about tearing down barriers, they speak of bringing everyone into gaming. While you’re stressing the need for libraries to take advantage of the unique experiences that we offer or should be offering, Nintendo promises the same thing is needed to revitalize the gaming industry.

It’s all incredible stuff, to be sure. Hearing you speak about all of this while I’m following Nintendo’s attempt to reboot the entire scene made me wonder how much of this might help you. I don’t know if it will, but maybe it’s some good info for you when you discuss gaming? I’m not sure. If anything, maybe it’ll be fun reading while you’re winding down? 😛

What follows is the link where I got the info, and then a few choice quotes that mirror what you’ve been saying. Hope some of this helps!

“With each passing year, video gaming has become an exclusive experience. The complexities of some of the newest games have alienated those who used to play games with their entire families. Wii changes all that. Nintendo has created the most inviting, inclusive video game system to date.”

“Over time, gaming has become overwhelming to people. Wii returns gaming to simpler times while innovating game development at the same time. The unique Wii Remote gives parents and grandparents a chance to play games with their children. It gives gamers and traditional non-gamers a chance to share the same experiences in this new generation of gaming. For those who grew up on video games, Wii shows that games have not outgrown them.”

The other piece I have for you unfortunatly is from a dead site. It’s a transcript from the Tokyo Gaming Show, from President Iwata of Nintendo. Here are a few quotes. If you’d like the entire transcript, I can send it to you. Again, I think you’ll find it interesting that what you’re talking about is mirrored in what Nintendo is saying.

“There are few instances in business that show that something can grow by holding the same structure that it¹s held for the previous 30 years.”

“We need to abandon the memories of past success and get back to the basics. In order to create products that can by enjoyed by anyone, the whole industry needs to make an effort. First ­ unless we can increase the number of people who are willing to play, we can never expand the market. If we cannot expand the market, all we can do is wait for the industry to slowly die.”

“To expand the gaming population there are 3 main challenges:

1. First, we had to reengage the people who had stopped playing.
2. We had to attract new gamers.
3. Finally, and most important we had to introduce new products that appeal to veterans and new gamers alike. ”

“Since the launch of famicom 20 years ago, the game industry has evolved significantly. Even now there are many people who believe in the idea that as long as we continue with just making games more gorgeous we will continue to expand. But the final judgment will be made by games players around the world. Those people can carry on in that direction if they believe in it, but we don¹t believe in it.”

“I believe that it is the job of all of us, the creators, to continue to supply people and constant innovation is key.”

“When games can no longer surprise, people will grow tired of gaming.”

Thanks Pedro!!

After reading and writing about L2, listening to The Experience Economy on the way up to the lake (can’t wait to hear what David King has to say at IL2006!), and discussng planning and barriers with librarians, that last sentence really speaks to me:

When libraries can no longer surprise, people will grow tired of visting them.