Tag Archives: video games

Get Your Game On

If you’ve nosed around your branch’s AV section in the past few days, you may have noticed that things were shuffled around a bit to make room for a new collection. That’s right, we are all circulating video games now!

The collect at Woods Run

The collection at Woods Run

We have a mix of 3DS; X-box One and 360; and PS3 and PS4 games available at all of the branches. Just like the Best Seller DVD collections, these items can’t be placed on hold. However, we’ll hopefully have a good selection ready to go on the shelf for you. You can borrow three at a time and play your heart out for three weeks. Bonus: Main expanded their requestable collection, so we can always try to help you find something if it’s not at the branches!

Here are some of the titles we received:

Happy gaming!

– Jess

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Arcade, Well-Played

Today’s post is a guest essay from Megana children’s library assistant at the East Liberty branch. You can learn more about her, and the other Eleventh Stack contributors, on the About Us page. Enjoy!

It’s never too late to pick up a good book, but now is a perfect time to read Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, if you haven’t already. Naturally, you can get it from the library.

If you grew up in the 80s, love video games, pop culture, Dungeons and Dragons, or just enjoy unique stories full of awesome puzzles and clues, you’ll probably devour this book. I know I did.

The story is set in a bleak future where most people’s only escape is a virtual reality universe called the OASIS. It brings together the world wide web, games, shopping and entertainment. Thousands of places from movies, games and TV are re-created and ready to explore. Many people even work or attend school in the virtual world.

When James Halliday, the ridiculously wealthy creator of the OASIS, dies, he leaves his fortune to whoever can find an “Easter egg” he hid somewhere in the online universe. Of course a lot of people want to find it, including a corporation that hopes to take over the OASIS and commercialize it, charging a fee for access.

The story is told by a dedicated “egg hunter” named Wade, who lives in his aunt’s trailer with 14 other people. The money would change his life, but it’s just as important to him that the OASIS not fall into the hands of a company that would monetize it, cutting off millions who can’t afford to pay.

Finding the egg will require not only cleverness, but a deep knowledge of 80s culture and games. Halliday was a teen in the 80s, and he made it clear that sharing his obsessions is the only way to win. Wade spends all of his free time studying these subjects. We readers can enjoy the book without that level of dedication, but the more references you get, the more fun it is.

It's kind of like that. Photo taken from The Dragon's Lair Project - click through to visit site.

It’s kind of like that. Photo taken from The Dragon’s Lair Project – click through to visit site.

Read it before the movie gets made. Before the sequel comes out. Bonus points if you read it before Cline’s next book, Armada, is released this summer.

What can you do to maximize your enjoyment? I don’t want to spoil anything, but you may want to brush up on your arcade and Atari games, 80s shows, movies and music. Thankfully, the library has you covered!

Read about 80s music

Listen to 80s songs

Read about arcade games

Or browse the catalog for the album, movie or show of your choice. We’ll hook you up. The rest is up to you. Are you ready?

Tell us in the comments if you’ve already read it, or report back once you do. We’d love to hear your opinion, but no spoilers please.

–Megan

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Library Video Gaming is Here to Stay

It’s all over the news: In public libraries around the country, even right here at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh, librarians are adding video games to their collections.  Before you respond with “I knew there was some serious intellectual decline in this country, but this is ridiculous!” think again.  Video games, more and more experts are agreeing, might have a legitimate place in the library after all. 

Whence came the library video gaming surge?  Do a quick Google search for “video games in libraries,” sift through the 40,500,000 hits, and you’ll find many news articles about public libraries obtaining video games to attract more teenagers (see, for instance, reports about the New York and Los Angeles Public Libraries).  The Carnegie has followed suit: our Teen Department began building its video game collection in 2004, and they now have a collection of 247 games, plus in-house game events such as the recent Super Smash Bros. Brawl Tournament.

If you’re worried that video games are harmful to our young’uns, you might be interested in some recent books about the positive influence of video games, such as Marc Prensky’s Don’t Bother Me Mom, I’m Learning!, Steven Johnson’s Everything Bad is Good for You, and James Paul Gee’s What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy

                                                 

These books suggest that video games are an excellent form of educational entertainment, preparing today’s youth for work in a digitized world.  Then again, maybe video games are just plain entertaining, and who doesn’t like free entertainment at the library? 

Whatever the case, the American Library Association condones the addition of video games to libraries, as evidenced by their blog, News About Games and Gaming, and their declaration of a National Gaming Day that will occur on November 15, 2008.  Even the Library of Congress announced last year a new digital preservation project that will include video games.  There’s also some interesting scholarly research being done on video games and libraries.  For that, check out Megan Winget’s research on video game preservation, and Jenny Levine’s interesting blog about technology and libraries, The Shifted Librarian

Finally, let it be known that teens aren’t the only ones having fun with video games at the library.  Seniors, too, are joining the library video gaming movement by playing games at Nintendo Wii events, and beginning October 10th, the First Floor: New and Featured Department of the Carnegie Library in Oakland will be offering a senior gaming series called A Wii Bit of Exercise.  If you have any doubts about how much fun seniors can have playing video games, check out this video:

Whatever your age, stop by and enjoy the library video gaming revolution with us! 

–Wes

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