As was foretold, we've added advertisements to the forums! If you have questions, or if you encounter any bugs, please visit this thread: https://forums.penny-arcade.com/discussion/240191/forum-advertisement-faq-and-reports-thread/
Options

Librarians need to like video games

STHaydenSTHayden Registered User new member
edited August 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
Librarians need to like video games for a lot of reasons. It brings an important part of culture to those who can not afford it. It gets kids to come to the library. It's just good all around. Any good library these days is trying to get teens to come in for either DDR or Rock Band type events.

Stephen Coen is a big named librarian who some how thinks every library should have a twitter and facebook account but should never have a video game inside the walls.

here is his latest post where he talk about how Rock Band is some how making teen not able to read.

http://www.librarystuff.net/2008/08/10/library%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98guitar-hero%E2%80%99-contests-a-hot-ticket/

I need help showing him that he is wrong and video game are important and needs to be in libraries.

STHayden on
«1

Posts

  • Options
    DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    STHayden wrote: »
    Librarians need to like video games for a lot of reasons. It brings an important part of culture to those who can not afford it. It gets kids to come to the library. It's just good all around. Any good library these days is trying to get teens to come in for either DDR or Rock Band type events.

    Stephen Coen is a big named librarian who some how thinks every library should have a twitter and facebook account but should never have a video game inside the walls.

    here is his latest post where he talk about how Rock Band is some how making teen not able to read.

    http://www.librarystuff.net/2008/08/10/library%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98guitar-hero%E2%80%99-contests-a-hot-ticket/

    I need help showing him that he is wrong and video game are important and needs to be in libraries.

    They don't. That's what a community center or Boys and Girls club is for.

    Doc on
  • Options
    big lbig l Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Maybe instead of focusing on why he is wrong, focus on why you are right.

    Explain to us how it is that having video games in libraries will make kids read more/be smarter better than the no-video-game status quo? Personally, I think this dude is right, and the status quo is on his side, so you have the burden of proof to show that he is wrong and you are right.

    big l on
  • Options
    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I cannot think of a worse place than the library for a game like Rock Band or DDR. Even if you could manage to keep the gamers silent, I don't want to watch a bunch of people flail around the library while I'm trying to research something or read.

    And if this is somewhere outside of the library proper, what's the point anyway? I can see why it'd be nice to attract youngsters to the library, but if you're just going to have a separate arcade/party room somewhere in the library, but removed from the books, why not just let them go find an arcade?

    Drez on
    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
  • Options
    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    You need to focus on how libraries have accepted other forms of media as a part of their collections - how movies and music have become staples of modern libraries. Then concentrate on why that has come to be: that they are simply another medium to portray a story or ideas and then discuss why games are on the same level as film and music and should be included.

    Basically if he accepts movies and CDs are acceptible parts of library collections, games should be as well.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • Options
    TexiKenTexiKen Dammit! That fish really got me!Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Here's some anecdotal evidence for you as to why it's bad (or rather, you need to prove your point):

    The main branch of the Houston Public Library Downtown just got renovated. Floors of books and computers, and they even made one half of a floor have videogames. Guitar Hero and everything. I'd say maybe 4 TVs dedicated to games on the 360 and PS2.

    The floor is insanely loud, as I went just to see what my tax money was used for. A few weeks into the re-opening and the controllers are busted (meaning $$$ to replace them), it's loud and had kids fighting with each other over who gets to play, and the library is nothing more than a daycare.

    I don't want that when I go to the library, and is now a reason I don't want to go back. A borders is more tranquil. You're bringing something that requires sound to enjoy the experience into a place where it is should not be allowed.

    TexiKen on
  • Options
    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    STHayden wrote: »
    I need help showing him that he is wrong and video game are important and needs to be in libraries.

    Here's the problem. He's not wrong. He's right.
    Video games aren't important. They're entertainment. They're not BAD, but certainly not important.

    They also don't belong in a library. The Internet, books, magazines and educational CDs/DVDs are what belongs in a library.

    Djiem on
  • Options
    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    TexiKen wrote: »
    Here's some anecdotal evidence for you as to why it's bad (or rather, you need to prove your point):

    The main branch of the Houston Public Library Downtown just got renovated. Floors of books and computers, and they even made one half of a floor have videogames. Guitar Hero and everything. I'd say maybe 4 TVs dedicated to games on the 360 and PS2.

    The floor is insanely loud, as I went just to see what my tax money was used for. A few weeks into the re-opening and the controllers are busted (meaning $$$ to replace them), it's loud and had kids fighting with each other over who gets to play, and the library is nothing more than a daycare.

    I don't want that when I go to the library, and is now a reason I don't want to go back. A borders is more tranquil. You're bringing something that requires sound to enjoy the experience into a place where it is should not be allowed.

    Libraries, to me at least, suck. Back when they were established, it was to promote literacy and make sure everyone had access to books. Nowadays it's much easier just to buy a book, once they go to paperback it's incredibly cheap anyways.

    We took my son to the library thinking it would be a great experience, but found the books were outdated, damaged and often dirtier and more stuck together than a teenager's hidden Playboy collection. The remodelled facilities were beautiful, but they held outdated, faded, old books that we were afraid would fall apart - in the end we hit Waldenbooks and picked up a few $3 books for him there.

    Djiem: Have you been to a library lately? You can rent movies, CDs, browse Myspace - libraries are already far from educational. I don't feel Rock Band performances have any place except for special events - but as a part of the library collection I could see an argument to be made.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • Options
    TychoCelchuuuTychoCelchuuu PIGEON Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    The library's not an arcade. Its job is also not to attract teenagers by any means necessary.

    TychoCelchuuu on
  • Options
    Seattle ThreadSeattle Thread Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Herby wrote: »
    Basically if he accepts movies and CDs are acceptible parts of library collections, games should be as well.
    Maybe to loan, yes, but not to play. It's far too disruptive at a place like that, to have a video-game setup for people to play on. Unfortunately, games and systems are expensive, and theft is a huge issue at any library. I have a feeling that most everything would be loaned once or twice before disappearing from the circulation.

    Now, you could impose hefty fines on unreturned games in order to combat theft, but that seems to defeat the purpose of a public library. Fines and fees have always been minimal, since the library is public property. Any large fines or deposits would have to be hefty, too, and I don't see anyone putting a $60-100 deposit down at the library.

    I don't think the OP has a leg to stand on. Barring some edutainment games or a masterpiece like ICO or Braid, games have very little culture or enlightenment. Honestly, I don't think I'd even want to see games over at my local branch, anyways.

    Seattle Thread on
    kofz2amsvqm3.png
  • Options
    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Makershot wrote: »
    Herby wrote: »
    Basically if he accepts movies and CDs are acceptible parts of library collections, games should be as well.
    Maybe to loan, yes, but not to play. It's far too disruptive at a place like that, to have a video-game setup for people to play on. Unfortunately, games and systems are expensive, and theft is a huge issue at any library. I have a feeling that most everything would be loaned once or twice before disappearing from the circulation.
    My bad - I thought he meant to loan - I didn't realize he meant to play. Fuck that - special events MAYBE - but there are enough loud obnoxious teens in the library - there don't need to be more. But then again, like I said - libraries suck nowadays.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • Options
    Raiden333Raiden333 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I would argue certain games are enough of a work of art (Shadow of the Colossus, for example) or intellectually stimulating enough (Portal) to have a place in a library, but the vast, vast majority of them don't. It's like how libraries only carry certain movies or kinds of music, not giant collections of kung-fu flicks, rap, and heavy metal.

    Raiden333 on
    There was a steam sig here. It's gone now.
  • Options
    CrystalMethodistCrystalMethodist Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Libraries are an institution tasked with maintaining cultural archives and making them available to the public.

    The first question that'll come up is "are videogames art?" If the answer is yes, there's no reason that they shouldn't be in libraries. They're culturally relevant pieces of art and should be preserved and made available to the public.

    If the answer is no, ask why.

    If someone says that the medium simply can never support a piece of art, hammer them on the definition of art until you get some traction. A simple, but intriguing argument is that videogames have music, a story, and graphics in them. Each one of those alone would constitute art, so why does the label disappear when you combine the three?

    Are videogames purely entertainment? Maybe. But aren't action movies? What about cheap detective novels? What about pulp romance books? Why are we preserving "Speed 2" in a library if it was created simply as a piece of entertainment?

    What's the difference between art and entertainment? What the job of a library? You're going to get a lot of different answers to those questions. You're going to have people who don't want, say, gay literature in the library. But it's there. Why? Because it's an important part of our culture and should be accessible by the public.

    If there are logistical reasons against having videogames in a library, fine. But claiming that there are philosophical reasons against it is silly. What is art? Why is art important? Who determines what is artistic and what is not? These are serious questions that deserve a much larger treatise than any blog post can provide. They also have no correct answer. Using those questions to condemn anything is elitist at best, and destructive at worst.

    CrystalMethodist on
  • Options
    big lbig l Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Libraries are an institution tasked with maintaining cultural archives and making them available to the public.

    The first question that'll come up is "are videogames art?" If the answer is yes, there's no reason that they shouldn't be in libraries. They're culturally relevant pieces of art and should be preserved and made available to the public.

    If the answer is no, ask why.

    If someone says that the medium simply can never support a piece of art, hammer them on the definition of art until you get some traction. A simple, but intriguing argument is that videogames have music, a story, and graphics in them. Each one of those alone would constitute art, so why does the label disappear when you combine the three?

    Are videogames purely entertainment? Maybe. But aren't action movies? What about cheap detective novels? What about pulp romance books? Why are we preserving "Speed 2" in a library if it was created simply as a piece of entertainment?

    What's the difference between art and entertainment? What the job of a library? You're going to get a lot of different answers to those questions. You're going to have people who don't want, say, gay literature in the library. But it's there. Why? Because it's an important part of our culture and should be accessible by the public.

    If there are logistical reasons against having videogames in a library, fine. But claiming that there are philosophical reasons against it is silly. What is art? Why is art important? Who determines what is artistic and what is not? These are serious questions that deserve a much larger treatise than any blog post can provide. They also have no correct answer. Using those questions to condemn anything is elitist at best, and destructive at worst.

    Quick issue - you say that if video games are art, they should be in the library, since Speed 2 is. But the issue isn't whether games should be available to check out from the library like Speed 2 is. The OP and his link are talking about actually having consoles in the library, playing the games in the building, which is a big difference and a lot less defensible.

    big l on
  • Options
    Angel_of_BaconAngel_of_Bacon Moderator mod
    edited August 2008
    The library's not an arcade. Its job is also not to attract teenagers by any means necessary.

    This is pretty much it. Libraries don't exist for the purpose of entertainment, but education- or if that seems too lofty a goal, to at least create access to culture.

    I would say that video games may have a place in a library, but not in the role mentioned in the article. For example, a student doing research into video game trends or a developer who is trying to research old games for an upcoming project may find it helpful to be able to go down to a library and play a legal copy on it that works, without having to hunt around eBay or find old computers/consoles/whatever to run it or go around downloading things illegally.

    In terms of preserving the culture, this is a role that libraries could and probably should play- though I imagine this would be an expensive proposition that not many public libraries could do very effectively, barring perhaps the Library of Congress. University programs perhaps could create video game libraries similar to film libraries used by film students. As time goes on, and video games are more widely acknowledged as playing a significant cultural role, and the means of access to older or more obscure games becomes more difficult, cataloging video games will become more and more important.

    If that is the intention, go ahead, sure. A couple of sound-proof rooms where people can boot up Myst or whatever and do some research on it. But what's going on in the article isn't that at all, it's just pretty much setting up an arcade next to the stacks, disrupting everyone else trying to read or study. You might as well just put in a ball-pit and a bouncy castle in there while you're at it. Music is culturally significant, but that doesn't mean it is necessary for a library to host raves or line-dancing nights.

    Angel_of_Bacon on
  • Options
    DjiemDjiem Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Herby wrote: »
    Djiem: Have you been to a library lately? You can rent movies, CDs, browse Myspace - libraries are already far from educational. I don't feel Rock Band performances have any place except for special events - but as a part of the library collection I could see an argument to be made.

    Our city library doesn't do that. It's CD/DVDs, books, and basic Internet café.
    Dorty, outdated books sitting alongside new clean books (that won't stay clean for long, it saddens me to see how people don't take care of books and discs).

    Djiem on
  • Options
    Lindsay LohanLindsay Lohan Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I just reread the article - sounds like this was a one time tournament to try to get more young people into the library. I actually don't mind it used in this way. Libraries do need to be used in order to continue funding, and if you require library cards to get into the tourney you've taken the first step to get kids through the door after the tournament is over. I know if I was a teenager I would tend to flip through the racks while waiting for my turn and maybe grab a book before I left.

    I don't think they should be out all the time for constant use but don't see an issue with this particular case. Heck, the equipment was even donated by a local shop so it wasn't a big expense for the library either. I would equate it to a car dealership handing out free hotdogs and sodas at an open house - it's not their business to have food, they won't have it all the time, but it brings people in when used wisely.

    Lindsay Lohan on
  • Options
    DrFrylockDrFrylock Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    STHayden wrote: »
    here is his latest post where he talk about how Rock Band is some how making teen not able to read.

    I need help showing him that he is wrong and video game are important and needs to be in libraries.

    Yep. What library need are more video game. Peoples and teen already know how read good so some how they need attract more. video game are art.

    Sigh.

    Seriously, there's an ongoing debate in the library community about the changing role of libraries in the community. Librarians are a somewhat top-heavy profession (meaning that older librarians tend to outnumber younger ones). Library conferences are constantly talking about how to integrate technology and "millennials" (the generation after Generation X) into the library community. Occasional game nights, movie nights, and other "fun" activities can get people into libraries that might not ordinarily come in, so they get exposed to the services that the library offers these days. It's not all books and microfiche anymore. However, there's a tension about how far to expand the mission of libraries: in general, I think librarians would like to keep distinguishing the library environment from, e.g., Barnes and Noble, Starbucks, the local senior center, and (especially) the local homeless shelter, while still remaining relevant.

    DrFrylock on
  • Options
    JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Herby wrote: »
    I just reread the article - sounds like this was a one time tournament to try to get more young people into the library. I actually don't mind it used in this way. Libraries do need to be used in order to continue funding, and if you require library cards to get into the tourney you've taken the first step to get kids through the door after the tournament is over. I know if I was a teenager I would tend to flip through the racks while waiting for my turn and maybe grab a book before I left.

    I don't think they should be out all the time for constant use but don't see an issue with this particular case. Heck, the equipment was even donated by a local shop so it wasn't a big expense for the library either. I would equate it to a car dealership handing out free hotdogs and sodas at an open house - it's not their business to have food, they won't have it all the time, but it brings people in when used wisely.

    This^

    If it can be done like that then it is just fine. All the time would be far too distracting.

    JebusUD on
    and I wonder about my neighbors even though I don't have them
    but they're listening to every word I say
  • Options
    Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I don't think Rock Band has any place in a library, Even just an occasional Contest. My reasoning is that on that day people that want to use the library for its purpose will be Disrupted completely. Also Most teens that are interested in reading will have books to read, I have whole shelves of books around me now, the teens that are not will go to the tournament and never actually check a book out. I can't see video games being used to increase the amount of teenagers reading.

    Ziac45 on
  • Options
    TrusTrus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Ziac45 wrote: »
    I don't think Rock Band has any place in a library, Even just an occasional Contest. My reasoning is that on that day people that want to use the library for its purpose will be Disrupted completely. Also Most teens that are interested in reading will have books to read, I have whole shelves of books around me now, the teens that are not will go to the tournament and never actually check a book out. I can't see video games being used to increase the amount of teenagers reading.

    I don't know how true that is. My sister is an avid reader and would go to the library quite a bit, 2x times a weeks at least and I, being the nice brother I am, would often go with her. I am not a reader, at this point in time I own a total of 6 books. however, very often I would start reading a book at the library while my sister looked at books to take out and sometimes I would end up renting that book out.

    I think the idea of a public library is an out dated concept most of the time, there are certainly places and people that can really benefit from them, but while they exist I think they need to do something to pull kids in. I don't think having a pile of video games is the best way to go about this, but a tournament every couple months can't hurt.

    Trus on
    qFN53.png
  • Options
    Ziac45Ziac45 Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    But would you have started reading that book if there was something else to do?

    Ziac45 on
  • Options
    LewishamLewisham Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Why isn't this in D&D?

    And it depends whether libraries are collections of books, or collections of culture. That's a debate that will go on for a long time.

    Lewisham on
  • Options
    SteevLSteevL What can I do for you? Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    While I don't think the library should have game systems set up at all times, I don't really see a problem with having occasional game nights. It's one of many programs our youth services librarians get teens into the place, and many of them actually do check out books. They also have book clubs, writing workshops, anime night, etc., and they're all quite popular. They managed to convince me to run a chess club starting in October (I'm apparently the only librarian there that knows how to play, and I usually get beaten by 5-year olds).

    As Frylock said, there is a lot of discussion among librarians about making libraries more than just a center of knowledge. Lots of libraries are experimenting with things like this as a way to keep people coming back or even coming in for the first time.

    That being said, I agree with that guy that games like Guitar Hero and Rock Band don't really promote literacy. It sounds to me like he just has an issue with the ALA claiming that those games do promote reading, which is fine. Maybe he argues elswhere that games have no place in libraries at all, which I would obviously argue against, although I would argue poorly because I suck at arguing.

    SteevL on
  • Options
    SzechuanosaurusSzechuanosaurus Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    It's kind of a tough one. Libraries are really there to maintain and make available a large collection of media to the public. It doesn't all have to be purely educational and research material, they'd always stocked novels and in recent years have started stocking music and movies too. So stocking games is definitely a valid function of libraries.

    The issue comes with the second part - making available to the public. Being able to check games out goes some way towards this, but whilst books can be read without needing any additional hardware, games need systems to play them on. So to truly make them available to all members of the public, they'd need to also provide the means to experience them. I don't know if libraries already do this with music and films, whether some of them have TVs and CD players so you can use the media right there. I guess what you'd really need are viewing rooms - rooms separated off from the main reading library that you could use to view films, listen to music or play video games in, rather like an extension of the microfiche booths or private reading rooms that some libraries may have. But that would require a huge amount of additional spending and take up a disproportionate amount of room. You're only going to see that sort of thing in the biggest national libraries if ever.

    Szechuanosaurus on
  • Options
    SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Having consoles out there to play games on is analagous to expecting a library which loans DVDs to host a free cinema - it's simply outside the scope of their normal activities, it's a library, not an arcade. For loaning, bear in mind that publishers have agreed certain royalty rates with libraries for loaning of books. I'm not sure what the situation is with DVDs and CDs, but unless the library's simply going to function as a Blockbuster, then the videogame industry would need to negotiate terms, and if it's going to be subsidised access to loaned materials, it's hard to see how to pitch that as being attractive to the business people involved.

    Now as for some sort of public access archiving of artistically meritous works, that's something which will need to be considered at some point. I'm not sure libraries are necessarily the best place to do that, compared to say an online delivery service.

    Seol on
  • Options
    Pixel BluePixel Blue Registered User regular
    edited March 2013
    -

    Pixel Blue on
  • Options
    dr0neboydr0neboy Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Seol wrote: »
    Having consoles out there to play games on is analagous to expecting a library which loans DVDs to host a free cinema - it's simply outside the scope of their normal activities, it's a library, not an arcade. For loaning, bear in mind that publishers have agreed certain royalty rates with libraries for loaning of books. I'm not sure what the situation is with DVDs and CDs, but unless the library's simply going to function as a Blockbuster, then the videogame industry would need to negotiate terms, and if it's going to be subsidised access to loaned materials, it's hard to see how to pitch that as being attractive to the business people involved.

    Now as for some sort of public access archiving of artistically meritous works, that's something which will need to be considered at some point. I'm not sure libraries are necessarily the best place to do that, compared to say an online delivery service.

    This!
    I really do see the appeal of a public library offering you to loan video games but there're som problems here. My local library offer both film and music though the main focus isn't on blockbusters or the latest hit cds rather than cinema classics (from all eras of the history of film I would add), classical music or music of historical relevance.

    I also think that video games will have the same role in the library in a near future. Not focusing on the latest high budget games will be a way to promote the history of video games as well as quality classics and even more relevant contemporary works. However video games is a new form of aesthetic expression, maybe the newest and we really have to give the cultural field time to understand and relate to the media instead on raving about turning the library into your local gaming café without fees.

    dr0neboy on
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • Options
    codetrapcodetrap Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    STHayden wrote: »
    Librarians need to like video games for a lot of reasons. It brings an important part of culture to those who can not afford it. It gets kids to come to the library. It's just good all around. Any good library these days is trying to get teens to come in for either DDR or Rock Band type events.

    Stephen Coen is a big named librarian who some how thinks every library should have a twitter and facebook account but should never have a video game inside the walls.

    here is his latest post where he talk about how Rock Band is some how making teen not able to read.

    http://www.librarystuff.net/2008/08/10/library%E2%80%99s-%E2%80%98guitar-hero%E2%80%99-contests-a-hot-ticket/

    I need help showing him that he is wrong and video game are important and needs to be in libraries.

    This does not appear to be a help/advice forum question. It looks more like a debate type question to me with a thin skin of H/A?

    codetrap on
    < insert witty comment here>
  • Options
    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    At the new branch of the library I used to work for, the Teen Center is actually sound-isolated from the rest of the library. They have a big screen TV (which always has the animes playing on it) and computers. So the teenagers can be as rowdy as they want, the rest of the library isn't going to hear it. They do need to attract teenagers, otherwise they're going to die off.

    When I was working at the main branch though, the reason that video games weren't being considered was due to the cost. You'd have a high cost item (50$+), which is very likely to be stolen or sold off by a parent or the kid, you'll never see hte money again and they'll never come back in to check out books because the account is locked up.

    FyreWulff on
  • Options
    WezoinWezoin Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Raiden333 wrote: »
    I would argue certain games are enough of a work of art (Shadow of the Colossus, for example) or intellectually stimulating enough (Portal) to have a place in a library, but the vast, vast majority of them don't. It's like how libraries only carry certain movies or kinds of music, not giant collections of kung-fu flicks, rap, and heavy metal.

    I dunno what libraries you go to, but the one I used to work in had tons of kung fu flicks, rap, and heavy metal. It was bassically a case of "whatever they thought people would want." Yes, the non-fiction section of a library is intended for education, but the vast majority of it (fiction, movies (except documentaries), and music) most certainly are not.

    My library had a couple DDR/Guitar Hero days, and they didn't really attract many people. 20 - 30 kids throughout the day maybe. It was in a separate room with a closed door. I'm not saying it's a good thing, or a particularly bad thing, just that it can be done without being bothersome to others, again, this was a special event thing though.

    I would really like to see videogames brought into libraries, but only as a loaning service. There are plenty of really great stories, and they have immense entertainment value, which as I pointed out before is one of the major purposes of a library.
    When I was working at the main branch though, the reason that video games weren't being considered was due to the cost. You'd have a high cost item (50$+), which is very likely to be stolen or sold off by a parent or the kid, you'll never see hte money again and they'll never come back in to check out books because the account is locked up.

    Sure, I agree with the likely to be stolen point, however, if you think about it they could do what they tend to do with movies, buy older ones once they've dropped in price. Also, there are quite alot of books out there that break the $50 mark, especially once you get into non-fiction.

    Wezoin on
  • Options
    shutzshutz Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Since Libraries now carry other forms of entertainment than just books (they now often carry CDs, DVDs, that sort of thing) then video games qualify for this.

    At the same time, I don't believe libraries should have "game rooms": you can go there and maybe borrow a video game, like you'd borrow a book, but having a game room just means people are going to come in to play games, disturb everyone else, and in most cases, won't be interested in whatever else the library has to offer. Libraries are doing this to try to attract more people, but in the end, I don't see this doing more good than bad.

    Libraries need to find allies who also believe in the power of the written word to help them attract more people. Make people realize that reading a book need not be a chore, or a school assignment. That it's normal to keep reading books long after you're done with school. That books can exist as entertainment and repositories of knowledge and insight alongside television, movies, music and videogames, instead of antagonizing those other media.

    Parents need to take their children to the Public Library right after they've learned to read. Make it seem like a perfectly normal thing (which it is). Discuss the books their children read, in the same way they should discuss what games their children play, and what TV shows and movies they watch.

    All of this has nothing to do with the whole "are video games 'Art'" debate. Video games ARE art. They're not always good quality art, but they're art nonetheless. Porn is art too. TV shows are art. Movies are art. Music is art. (Yes, even those crappy pop songs we all hate.)

    Libraries collect knowledge, insight and entertainment (good books usually contain elements of all three of these aspects.) Video games are usually heavy on entertainment, but I'm sure each of you has at least learned one thing from all your video game playing, and gained at least one insight from it. That's enough right there to justify having video games in libraries.

    It's not, however, justification for creating a game room.

    shutz on
    Creativity begets criticism.
    Check out my new blog: http://50wordstories.ca
    Also check out my old game design blog: http://stealmygamedesigns.blogspot.com
  • Options
    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I think only 4% of the people posting actually read the OP.

    If the OP is asking how he should respond or persuade someone that video games are valid media to be lent through a library, then that's one thing and is something I can respond to, but I don't think that's what he's asking. What he's asking is how to persuade someone that having DDR and Rock Band events in a public library is a good thing. Which I don't think it is.

    Drez on
    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
  • Options
    Golden LegGolden Leg Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    It seems libraries have become an order who preserve printed works in hopes of eventually bringing the vast number of book-deprived people back into the reading fold. Music and movies are the bait.

    Truth is, not enough people read. Video games are great, but they aren't books. Every form of media is special, and books offer something that digital entertainment can't. They excite the imagination and incite intellectual growth. The printed word offers a window into the worlds that can't be captured in pictures and sound.

    Golden Leg on
  • Options
    tsmvengytsmvengy Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    Drez wrote: »
    I think only 4% of the people posting actually read the OP.

    If the OP is asking how he should respond or persuade someone that video games are valid media to be lent through a library, then that's one thing and is something I can respond to, but I don't think that's what he's asking. What he's asking is how to persuade someone that having DDR and Rock Band events in a public library is a good thing. Which I don't think it is.

    It's not a good thing - because it just turns your library into a daycare/teen center. Which it is not.

    tsmvengy on
    steam_sig.png
  • Options
    SeolSeol Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    tsmvengy wrote: »
    Drez wrote: »
    I think only 4% of the people posting actually read the OP.

    If the OP is asking how he should respond or persuade someone that video games are valid media to be lent through a library, then that's one thing and is something I can respond to, but I don't think that's what he's asking. What he's asking is how to persuade someone that having DDR and Rock Band events in a public library is a good thing. Which I don't think it is.
    It's not a good thing - because it just turns your library into a daycare/teen center. Which it is not.
    Yes, but that point is obvious, hence the attempt to derail into a more interesting discussion about whether libraries should archive and loan games.

    Seol on
  • Options
    dargusdargus Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm a libraryman in an college library. I like videogames. While I cant speak for other libraries, I can explain a bit about why my library doesn't carry videogames.

    1. Every library has a collecting mission that outlines what sorts of materials they think belongs in their collection. Adhering to these collecting guidelines keeps our collection relevant to the target community.

    As an academic library we tend to collect materials pertaining to academia. That is: you'll find very few sci-fi/fantasy novels on our shelves, and our our magazines are more "National Geographic" than "Entertainment Weekly".

    That said, our library does have items in its collection that might be considered "purely entertainment". (We have the movie Babe, and many Wheel of Time books (check those out they are awesome. (putting parentheses inside of parentheses is valid in Java))) However, these items are usually requested or provided by professors for a specific reason. Furthermore, Rap is relevant to music majors, and kung-fu movies are relevant to theater majors. Since we have no "game design" courses offered at USM, Videogames don't really fit in.

    You may argue that some disciplines could find benifit from a videogame collection (english, computer science, theater, mathmatics, physics, theology, etc.), but videogames don't offer anything unique to these areas that can't be found in our general collection/online holdings.

    2. Limited funds. Not many people realize how much it cost a library to acquire and maintain what it has. Often, I have professors/students tell me: "Why don't you have [journal title]! It is absolutely essential to [academic field], and only cost $13.00 for a year's subscription!" I won't get into all the reasons that these sort of complaints bug me, but I do feel it is important to point out one thing. What an individual pays for a yearly subscription is NOT what a library pays. I don't know the exact number, but National Geographic cost us about $20,000.00 a YEAR. Some database services cost us $100,000 to $200,000 a YEAR. We spend about 1-1.5 million dollars a year in maintaining/obtaining library materials... this is not including building maintenance or payroll. While this is not a shoe-string budget, we do consider ourselves pretty tightly pressed budget-wise, and often have to drop services.

    With a shrinking budget, we often try to scrape up enough to continue providing what we consider necessary. Adding "fluff" items like videogames is a low priority. I have what I'd consider a relatively meager videogame library of about, 300-350 titles for Atari 2400, Nintendo, SNES, N64, Sega, GameBoy, GBA, DS, Wii, PS, PSII, PSIII, Xbox, and X-360. All of these I bought at market-as-they-were-released price, to equal about $25k .... and that's a year's subscription to National Geographic.

    Public libraries, in general, receive considerably less funding than university libraries. Consider this: For $65.00 I could have One videogame, or Three hardback books, or Five movies/albums, or TEN or more paperback books. In the end videogames are to libraries as bacon is to breakfast. It doesn't provide a lot of substance, it mostly only adds flavor, and I could get three times as much sausage for the same price.

    3. Videogames are high theft items. Of course, replacing those games cost money, and it gets harder to justify the collection when we have to Constantly replace items in it.


    Sure, I'd love to rent my videogames for free. I mean, I spend a lot of money on vidoegames. However, I do not believe it is my library's job to support my videogame, movie watching, or music listening hobbies.

    As a final note; some of you may beg the question "what if I donated my games", let me arm you with the following knowledge. Once you make any donation to a library (or museum for that matter), the library has the final say-so in what to do with the donation. Yes, you can dictate terms of your donation (my painting should always be displayed in studyroom 5), and the library may agree to these terms. However, most library's donation agreements say somewhere that (in plain) we can do whatever we want with what you donate to us, regardless of what we told you before.

    What does this mean? Well, since videogames do not meet with my library's collecting mission you can expect to see any video games donated to be sold for $2.50 at our next book sale. We will take that money, of course, to buy materials/supplies that we "really need". Also, here's a secret, librarians/staff get to take any book-sell-item for themselves before the book sale ... guess what I'll do if I ever see a videogame on the cart. So if you care about your collection Do Not donate it to your library, unless they already have an established videogame collection (some University libraries do).

    Well, I hope this post was of some use... it's my first one on PA Forums.

    dargus on
  • Options
    DrezDrez Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    I'm very much pro-public-library-being-a-teen-center, just not a loud one or specifically an arcade.

    Drez on
    Switch: SW-7690-2320-9238Steam/PSN/Xbox: Drezdar
  • Options
    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    Another problem with video games for libaries (the budget for our libraries is something like 2$ for every citizen) is the console lifecycle. Every 5 years the 'churn' on the game collection would slow down or stop because people are changing their consoles.

    Ours did have PC games though, like Sims 4 and other ones, just no console games.

    And we had 20 computers for public use on a floor, a TV for video watching, and a TV for video watching in the kids center, and never had an issue with sound.

    FyreWulff on
  • Options
    KalTorakKalTorak One way or another, they all end up in the Undercity.Registered User regular
    edited August 2008
    IIRC the Library of Congress just started adding video games to their archives. As far as local libraries go, however, it seems like the cost of stocking them would be prohibitive, though I'm in favor of it in theory.

    KalTorak on
  • Options
    FyreWulffFyreWulff YouRegistered User, ClubPA regular
    edited August 2008
    You could probably band people together and donate a bunch of games to start off their collections.

    For example, not only do you have to consider the price of the games, but the fact that the costs of putting up there. At the library I worked at, we didn't even bother barcoding romance dime novels because it cost 7$ to put the barcode on it alone. Yeah, the barcode was worth more than the book.

    (as an aside, when a guy died he donated his entire Star Trek paperback collection to the library. I'm no expert but it looked like it was a complete collection - every Star Trek paperback ever, including every version of the show. Filled up an entire wall. But it was too expensive to barcode them so they were checked out on the usual honor system - i think only about 5 of those books are left)

    FyreWulff on
Sign In or Register to comment.