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Weekly Wrap-up Thing 12: Games: Angry Birds / Wordfeud

5 Aug

I would consider myself the ultimate Girl Gamer. My gaming prowess spans from my PC to my Nintendo DS and most importantly to my cherished PlayStation 3. In fact, I would go so far as to say that gaming is now a part of my identity. I’m obsessed, and that’s why I thought I would be a great person to tackle this item on our list.  I must admit, my focus wandered away from angry birds and word feuds, to a broader range of games that I feel are more useful for us as librarians.

Me gaming on a Sunday afternoon
Photo of me gaming

The timing for Thing 12 couldn’t be better. The past few weeks at work I have been researching gaming in libraries in a hope to implement it at our library here. Christchurch libraries already offer Minecraft sessions for teens with great success. Minecraft is a fast growing, extremely popular online game which is free to pay after an initial cost of €19.95. There are piles of research praising Mine Craft as a great research tool and the best part is, the kids don’t always realise they are learning,

There is also a whole blog dedicated to gaming in libraries. It’s a great resource if you decide to pursue the gaming route in your library.Some great resources came out of this week’s twitter, which have only encouraged me in my pursuits to bring gaming into our library.

So, what were your opinions on Thing 12?

Twitter

Sarah Gallagher (@SarahLibrarina) linked what I think is one of the most interesting videos I have seen all year: Jane McGonigal: Gaming can make a better world. It’s a speech by Jane McGonial on how gaming is helping to evolve us into better people.  She has some great points on the positive effects of collaborative communities and the importance of instant positive reinforcement. One thing Jane mentions in her speech is how in game worlds we are the best versions of ourselves. When I think of my friends, this makes sense. Even my friends with no sense of social justice (who I would border on calling mean) seem to flourish in these games. They power through Mass Effect 3 in a paragon state or finish Fallout 3 filled with good Karma [This does make me worry about what a bad person I must be in real life though as I almost always pick the evil route in a game when given the choice]. I could go on for days about this topic, and if you haven’t watched this yet I highly recommend you do!

Cathy Kelso (@ironshush ) also linked a presentation on the benefits of serious gaming for library users and students. Coming from a teaching background I have seen this in effect. Kids and teens love games. And if we can harness these games to teach moral lessons and educate them then they are a valuable tool for libraries in the future.

More From Twitter:

Katalin Mindum ‏@KatMMin #anz23mthings Bit over angrybirds. To be honest could waste your whole life without even noticing the passing of time

Sarah Lisle ‏@SarahJLisle Because of #anz23mthings I’m trying out mobile games this week. #bubbletotem is cute, free and addictive. Also works when I’m not online

Final Thoughts

This week has only reinforced my belief that gaming is a valuable learning tool. At libraries, we encourage people to learn and gaming is a fun way of learning. Children and Teens especially are becoming more and more exposed to gaming and by the time they leave school they will have over 10,000 hours of gaming experience.  Providing the community to access to games gives them access to online communities, achievable challenges to help raise motivation and self-esteem and more simply, lets them have fun. It’s not for everyone though and that’s OK. It’s also not easy. Implementing these idea takes a lot of time and effort to set up and requires someone with a passion and flair for gaming to keep it running.

And my favourite game? Fallout 3 Check it out sometime I highly recommend it.

Bonnie Mager

Thing 12 : Angry Birds, Wordfeud and disturbing the Quiet carriage.

29 Jul

social gamers & siblings  - _MG_0983
Social Gamers & Siblings by Shawn Drelinger via CC license on Flickr

We love games, we really  do, games were mobile long before the invention of the telephone.

 In the past we had decks of cards, travel chess, dice, and things that only need a social aspect and some imagination, it was only a matter of time before they became a part of our mobile connected lifestyle.

Why do we play? If you watch a good animal documentary there’s something about games when we are young and learning all our life lessons by beating the snot out of our siblings, so there’s probably something in that, after all who am I to argue with David Attenborough?

The reality is we now play so many games that there is a social label for us; Gamers.

Sure, there’s lots of research on the pros and cons of gaming, some say that a puzzle a day keeps the doctor away and others say we need to keep an eye out for kids in trenchcoats.

Regardless of which way you lean in the debate, games aren’t going away. It’s part of who we are. Games are Fun, games can be Social, games can be improve your brain, games can have you wearing a diaper at 3am with a horned helmet and a red bull addiction.

It’s big business, are we going to be part of it libraries?

We are, after all, shifting our focus in so many libraries from knowledge repository to community space, do we need to look at gaming as part of a community need?

Looking at the public use computers in my public library, there’s a lot of people using the facilities to write a resume but there are lots connecting to each other through games.

Anyway nuff said, as Duke Nukem said “Come get some”.

DISCOVER

EXPLORE

THINKING POINTS – I stole these from ‘s post here

  • Kids and mobile games – what’s popular? How can you find out? Could you integrate some of these games into your library’s programs for children?
  • If you could develop a game for mobile devices, what would it be? We’ve already encountered several apps that can be used to gamify aspects of your library service (eg. SCVNGR, geocaching)
  • National Parks New South Wales, Australia, has developed an iPad app as part of their Wilderquest program for children – could your library develop an app?
  • Could you use games in programs at your library?  eg. designing games using Game Salad

EXTRA CHALLENGE

  • Tell us your favourite game in a comment on our FB page!
  • If you want to go for gold, challenge one other person – maybe a colleague or family member – to play that same game…

From Abigail and Kate: This excellent introduction post was written by Aaron Trenorden – thank you 😉 Next week is our catch-up week and marks the half-way point of the course. Thanks so much for your continued enthusiasm, questions, and ideas; it’s fantastic learning with all of you!

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