John Kirriemuir ponders the Wii, and addresses library inplications and some library gaming innovators:
Because of the inspiring and thought-provoking nature of the games and gameplay, it’s an absolute must-get for any decent games research centre or group. If, in a few months time, an academic games research centre doesn’t have a Wii in a communal staff area, then it is questionable how serious they really are about video games and gameplay.
Library potential. Yes, it is suitable for use in a public library. The games are okay for people of all ages; the motion aspects of the game mean that it negates the criticism of gameplay being a sedentary activity. The games are very pro-social in nature, almost willing you to try them in multiplayer, as opposed to single player mode. Also, spectators get a lot more fun out of watching people play Wii games than last-generation button pushing titles. The difference now is that you aren’t just watching a game on a tv screen, you are watching real people playing a game that is also represented on a tv screen.
Some libraries are moving quickly on this. The Carnegie Library of Pittsburg acquired a Wii at launch and are using it heavily, as has a public library in North Carolina, while the Rochester Hills Public Library lend out Wii games.
A few words of caution, though. You’ll need a fair bit of space for this activity, especially for four-player games. Also, Wii gameplay, I suspect, is louder than games being played on other consoles – the noise coming from players and spectators. It’s been pretty loud here with a few people playing and watching. The distraction of motion may also cause a problem in some libraries where that isn’t the “done thing”. But maybe that’s a good thing. There’s also an increased danger of equipment being damaged by people who don’t use the strap, but this isn’t a problem with anyone who sensibly “straps up”.
For libraries: there’s no question. If you’ve got a suitable corner where there’s not a problem if it’s a bit noisy, a tv and a couple of hundred pounds, then go for it.
I especially like the idea of research centers having one of the sytems on hand. In light of this in-depth post and Jenny’s LTR Gaming in Libraries, maybe Dominican GSLIS needs some gaming systems on hand for classes and research.
Also, don’t miss this: < a href="http://www.fas.org/gamesummit/">http://www.fas.org/gamesummit/ for more about games and education.