Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Reader's Advisory.
Reader's Advisory.
Reader's Advisory.
Reader's Advisory.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Readers Advisory Boot Camp

Joyce Saricks "Fiction Reference -- patron-centered library service for adult liesure readers."
Betty Rosenberg "Never apologize for your reading tastes."
Says you: "Can I help you find something to read today?"

In reader's advisory we matchmake rather than judge. Suggest rather than recommend.

Best question: "What did you read last and what did you like about it?" OR "What didn't you like about it?"
Crucial follow-up: "Are you in the mood for that or something different"

Look for books with similar appeal, "feel."

Relate a book in positive terms. Not "simplistic," but "unembellished."

Prepare for obvious readalikes: Hosseini, Sartrapi, Patterson, Evanovich by speed reading as often as possible:

How to Read a Book in Ten Minutes
from Georgine N. Olson PLA 3/27/2004.

-Do this only with books that you don't really see yourself enjoying. This will ruin a book you may want to read.
-Locating appeal vs. provide summary. Provides readalikes--you will be able to recommend these books.
-This is a great way to familiarize yourself the fiction popular with patrons without having to read everything.
-Take notes on vital stats.
-Hold the book, examine the typeface, thickness, this will tell you a lot about pacing.
-The cover will describe the book and often the genre.
-Blurb and reviews may piece together enough to get you there.
-Read the first chapter.
-Skim, read throughout.
-Read the end.
-Info culled about style, pacing, format characters, setting, story-line, genre are easy to tell.
-If there is any doubt, reviews fill in the gaps nicely.
-Try to do a stack of 5 per shift. this is a good activity that will familiarize us with what patrons are reading and is great PR for patrons to see us doing this!

Hot websites:
Fresh Fiction -- Writers in media. Subscribe to Media Spotlight for daily updates.
Gnooks -- Computer provides suggestions for readalikes.
Barnes and Noble -- Like Amazon. Meet the Author section is nice! Here's Hosseini.
What's Next -- The best thing for Series.
Libraries Have Lists. Check out Waterboro's. Especially Non-fiction that reads like Fiction.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Gaming without Borders: Gaming Beyond Consoles and Screens

Elizabeth Lane Lawley. "Gaming without Borders: Gaming Beyond Consoles and Screens."
RIT Lab for Social Computing. Gaming is a serious skill that helps people grow. Libraries are behind the times. We must catch up.

Real life should be more like games (Second Life), not vice versa.
Game- a form of play with goals and structure, form of art, and more.
Libraries already have gaming- Summer Reading Programs, Learning 2.0, etc, each have steps with a goal and prizes at the end.
Experience is king, content is queen- about the unfettered immersive experience.
Space of trusted authority- trusted knowledge, we provide this.

Reverse Scavenger Hunt:
Break into teams, 10 minutes to bring back 11 items. Get list from judges. Tell judges how each item matches an item on the list.

Reclaiming Public Spaces that Have Fallen Into Disuse:
At the library, possibilities are endless. At the graveyard: tombstone hold 'em poker. Read headstones. Reinvigorate these place.

Cruel 2 B Kind:
Each team has a weapon and a weakness. Use positive weapon, like saying "you look great" to win others to your team. Hand out flowers, for example to kill people off.

Passively multiplayer online gaming:
Get experience for everything you do. Embedding playfulness into things people already do. Rewards and incentive.
--Is World of Warcraft the new Golf? You Play World of Warcraft? You're Hired--great article covers the sophistication of economic lessons within...ability to lead to conversations about ethics, middle men, powerful lessons about life, and more.

Libraries Must Respond:
--Build Core Collections to support games. World of Warcraft Atlas -- the game has 8.5 million players why do no libraries buy this? This is very sophisticated material on an enriching game. We are alienating potential patrons.
**hot tip: bookburro scours WorldCat and tells you the nearest library that has something on Amazon.
--Librarians & parents need to review games. Why is there no ALA best 100 games list?

--Gaming makes kids more creative.
3D models in Second Life, full-on creation.
Fan fiction written about ClubPenguin
--We must evaluate what's out there and make brave new world of gaming real, safe, and less scary for all involved.

Why Serious Gaming Shouldn't Be Taken Seriously

Thom Kevin Gillespie. "Why Serious Gaming Shouldn't Be Taken Seriously."
Not only can gamers play, they can create...and for free. All we need are the machines for this increasingly marketable skill.

What Led to This:
--Video projection, paint on the wall/paper image projected.
--Video diary of a violent, cloistered neighborhood, that brought everyone into the library...and they kept coming back.
--Latchkey kids in unscripted situation ~ game design is perfect for this. He had kids move robots around the room, made them talk.
--Entertainment expands this idea.
--Studying a game is playing it.
--DS2 may be the future ~~ a hand held world.

1.) Big table with markers. It's that simple.
2.) Run through ideas, collaborate, create a 10 page pitch. This takes dozens of hours. Temas coalesce around the best ideas. Many sessions of 5 hours each is the norm.
3.) A game takes 1.5 to 3 years and 50 designers to develop.
--Games for Gangs: great idea, but needs lots of time & effort.
--Jellyvision in Chicago does the "You Don't Know Jack" games. Harry Gottlieb, presents
wonderfully. He will also accept pitches (from patrons)!
4.) Games fail most often due to social, rather than creative, problems.

Open Source Game Design Items:
--Game Engine Blender
--Photoshop Gimp
--Illustrator Inkscape
--Flash osflash.org
----MIT's Scratch allows kids to make games on their own!
----Squeak "programmable toolkit that enables kids to create their own games, animated stories, and interactive art."
----Alice is another great all-in-one.
**As good as professional tools.
**Can be used to design "big games."

Games Pay Big:
--Developing flash, team-building, financial, workshopping, management, etc. skills.
--Blender & Gimp-masters often get hired for 2D and 3D animation jobs.
--Creating financial and intellectual property.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Gaming for Adults

Martin House, Mark Englebecht. "Gaming for Adults."
Click on the link above for an MP3 audio file of this session. Click on Martin for information on this study, findings, and other related info.
Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County
This library used LSTA grant funds to start a program that became so successful that it became a service attracting nontraditional library patrons, increasing usage, most notably reference.

--33 is the average game player age
--Appearing everywhere. The Economist 8/4/2005 talks about how gaming is good for the work force.
--Gamers are voters & advocates.

The Experiment:
--$70,000 LSTA Grant given to see if gaming brings adults into the library. What kind of gaming? Board? PC? Console? How does this affect the library?

Promotion & Some Findings:

--Promoted with fliers. Partnered with game and comic stores. Wore sandwich boards.
--Talking to people is the best form of promotion.
--Nothing mature allowed when kids are around. Kids are always allowed.
--Headphones are a detriment to interaction.
--Had to fight with the resistant who argued that gaming was a useless add-on.
--teaches basic skills, interaction, social learning, and more.
--promotion of library to nontraditional patrons.

--Mostly low-income zip codes.
--Mostly male.
--Mostly Afro-American.
--Mostly 26+
--Most had a library card.
--Library usage overall raised, especially reference.
--Increased approachability allowed referring to other resources, making everyone aware of everything the library has to offer.
--Video games attracted more people than traditional games, like board games.
--PS2, Madden most popular.
--Who came: 1.)Walk-in 2.) Friend 3.) Flier & postcard 4.) Website.
--Marketing to conventions, comic cons would help.

--Funding, staffing, after-hours, equipment coordination, budget for loss, staff buy-in:
--staff events. Put Wii in break room. Promote so staff is conversant/enthusiastic.

The Program:
--Set-up takes one hour. Best to list procedure, equipment, etc. online for easy access.
--Pelican cases or Rubbermaid totes on wheels are best.
--3 to 4 hour events.
--Drop in worked best.
--Play test everything.
--Insurance and security are a must.

--72 events, 14 branches, 3000 participants.
--from first year, 9 events.
--People come to library, use reference more.
--Started as a program, slowly became a service.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Digital Downloads for Gamers

Beth Galloway. "Digital Downloads for Gamers."
This is an excellent "core collection" of video games, many free, from an expert on them.

--email as a librarian, ask what kind of deals offered for multiple orders.
--ask whether can "beta test" games and get things for free this way.

Subscription Services:
GameTap- 900+ arcade games retro style. $7-$10/mo. 8 logins. No public performance.
Comcast Games on Demand- $15/mo. also has KidsPlay which has 72 titles. All sorted by ratings.
PlayFirst- By Viacom. $19.95/game/machine. 1 Fee per download.
Direct2Drive- $20-$50. Like going to GameStop for a game. Cheat codes, reviews at ign.com.
Shockwave Unlimited- Free. $5 to $10/mo. takes away all ads.
Overdrive- Also will have games available in Sept. 70 titles. Unlimited checkout. Educational slant, mostly for home users.

Free or Cheap:
Allows public performance. steampower.com
**StepMania- DDR for fingers. Open source. Kids can create dances & steps
**Snood- Word of Mousegames Puzzle & shooter games.
Apple Corps- Mr. Potato Head, except fruit, vegetables, political heads.
funbrain.com- Educational games with math, reading, science, etc.
Girl Scouts- girlsgotech.org
Neopets- Virtual pet. Highly commercial.
Webkinz- Toy, trivia. Earn coupons to win money off stuff.
Darfur is Dying- Genocide simulation game. Empathy next goal in video game designers path.
**Runescape- Medieval styled MMDRGP. Good place to start.
**Kingdom of Loathing- Free and funny turn-based RPG with online chat group option.
iFiction- Archive of over 250 text adventure games like Star Wars, Hitchhikers, Zork, etc. Background, precursors to popular games of today that involve decision making.
Setgame- Daily set puzzles.
Addicting games- 2D Games.

Education Arcade-
Learning through authentic and engaging play.
Games for Change- Global warming, health, politics, etc.
Gaia Online- 3D digital community. Create avatar, buy something for it.
Second Life- 3D world created/owned by residents. Tons of games within.
America's ARMY- Great, free shoot-em, forums filled with antiwar conversations.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Big Games

Greg Trefry. "Big Fun, Big Learning. Transforming the World through Play."
We can cheaply and easily run throughout our library and town engaging patrons in enriching and community-building activities.

Happening worldwide, like Come Out and Play Festival.

Big Games --
Expand to neighborhood, city, entire world (Internet). This "magic circle" integrates the rest of the world.
--Read about them in blogs
--Technology allows tracking (GPS, cell phone) over HUGE game boards (City)
--Can be traditional (chalk & paper)
--Can be silly, sporty, educational.
--Can be spectacular, great to watch, learning occurs.

Big Games Exist as:
Folk Games -- Most are variations of capture the flag, scavenger hunt, etc.
Alternative Reality Games -- Lots of conceptualizing, answering questions, use of pay and cell phones. I Love Bees is the classic example.
Social Experiment -- What happens when you put a bunch of pillows in Central Park?

Specific Games:
Pacmanhattan- Washington Square Park hide and seek, ghosts chase Pacman. Players cell phone in coordinates, maze is updated, dots shown eaten.
Mogi Mogi- Cell phone triangulation, collect things.
Big Urban Game- Guiding huge balloon game pieces through city. People call and vote on where to move them.
The Beast- Done for the film A.I. Enormous sense of community.
Space Invaders- Like DDR meets the 70's arcade game Space Invaders. A person is the gunner. The screen is a building 10 stories high.
Journey to the End of the Night- A form of "zombie tag" with people wearing different bands heading to different locations, trying to chase each other for 3 full hours. Band changed, like John Carpenter Film, Escape from New York.
You are Not Here- An "urban tourism mashup" where Baghdad/NYC maps transposed to where Bryant Park and the Baghdad Zoo were in the same place. Call from this coordinate, get info on the Zoo. A scavenger hunt, to collect the most information -- educational!!
Payphone Warriors- "A game of territorial control using the forgotten payphones of NYC," most of these phones still work. "Capture" payphones by calling from each phone until you have captured all 40 of them. A great running game, like capture the flag!

Library As Ideal Big Game Setting:
My Trip to the Library- What are resources inside library?
-Each branch (Chicago, NYC, Philly, etc.)
-Spaces (territories in library: reference, fiction, etc. to "capture")
-Collections (photographs, Wright, Hemingway, etc.)
-Board (Building itself can be a big board--spy games in dark areas. Hiding places like stairwells.)
-Persistence (identity of library is strong)
-Unique identifiers (codify books, return them with information)
-Referees (librarians, workers)
-Tools (copiers, computers, WiFi)
-Display and Gallery areas (for Leader boards, etc.)

5 Ideas for Libraries:
Secret Agent- Scavenger hunt with meeting spots. Ask question in a certain spot. Avoiding detection can be built into rules so other patrons don't get annoyed. Collection codes can be altered temporarily to create within a book a winning piece. The 50th page of a certain book could lead to the next clue and next level. Levels continue to go up after each success.
Then/Now- How it was, in a local history book get a photo of now.
Rent Control- The real real estate game.
Abolish- Alternate reality game, 80% of content is in historical content.
Foreign Languages- Decipher from these collections.
Dewey's Demons- Collect creatures generated by codes.

Look at the world. Give normal activities goals. Simple ways to track moves. Playtest, playtest, playtest. What can our world be? What activities can create goals?

Friday, August 10, 2007

Tournament Games for Any Occasion

Eli Neiburger. "Tournament Games for Any Occasion: Choosing the Right Games for Your Audience." Respond to patron needs by providing appropriate games.

Audience, appeal, buzz (word of mouth #1 Publicity), logistics, flexibility, victory conditions, rating, accessibility (ease of learning), hipness, angstiness, rabidity of fan-base, depth & mastery (DDR expertise levels), repeatability (some games get old).

Gamer Dad is a good website for this.
Entertainment Software Ratings Board is another.

-Kids: Socialization, possession, knowledge.
-Teens: Superiority, display, skill, coolness.

-20's: Mastery, depth, accessibility (bring friends), impenetrability.
-Adults: Seiousness, nostalgia, realism, accessibility.
-Parents: Redeeming value, accessibility, comprehensibility.
-Seniors: Ease of use, simplicity, skill over reflexes, realism.

Tournaments/Open Play

*keep play age on or below age level as the rating (T for Teens)*

Does not work:
RPG, action/adventure (kills socialization), sports games, simulations.

1st person shooters, fighting games, strategy


Racing games, oddball games (Wario Ware), Retro games (Midway--cheap), rhythm/music games (DDR, Guitar Hero) are the best.

Other Ideas

--Retro game night. Attract 30-somethings. Giant Space Invader for poster. Midway, Namco, Nintendo, Activision.
--Organized taxonomy of video games can be found
--there are open source versions of most popular games:
Free Civilization, Ur-Quan Masters, etc.)

Supporting Culture with Creative and Participative Digital Media Learning Activities

Matt Gullett, Kelly Czarnecki, Craig Davis. "Supporting Culture with Creative and Participative Digital Media Learning Activities." We can not only support gaming, but can also enrich creativity by easily creating a game lab.

Matt Gullett

Library Laboratory -- Game lab, the one place where it coalesces. Creating, rather than merely consuming games.
Recreational gaming is a public good. Matt Gullett is working on best practices, environment for successful gaming in public libraries.

Kelly Czarnecki
Animation Station filled with great, free, tools that can travel to branches-- iMovie, garageband, iCananimate, etc.
Studio i -- for making movies, music, animation, games for free. MIT Scratch has great free tools.
Post -- YouTube, MySpace, library website all great "outlets" for work. Lake Theater?

Craig Davis
Youth Digital Arts Cyber School
If kids could create video games, would they?
If technophobic libraries could easily offer game development program, would they?

as interactive digital art or storytelling.
Kids develop math, science, narrative skills, can make dreams come true, like Ben's Game, which a Leukemia sufferer designed to help kids with cancer "fight back."
  • Participatory culture with no age heirarchy. People win money for design.
  • Digital painting courses. Can become working artists and print and sell them.
  • Digital music. Create legal music for use in films.
  • Two room studio. Award-winning animation.
  • Gamemaker is being used at Broward County Public Library. Seems free and very, very good.
Idea: GAME LAB DAY – Have kids create video games!!

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Building A Gaming Community

Donald G. Dennis. "Building a Gaming Community and Game-Friendly Environment." Gaming is easy and inexpensive to start in the library today.

Lighting, power, ISP, ambient sound/soud isolation/doors, food, beverages--Games should be visible, secure. Keep a missing pieces bin.
--Hanging bags for games near back. Core collection right here.
--Decor. Web community, etc.

--Traditional. RPG (Role Playing Games). Electronic. Choose one.
--Be the go-to person for gamer's advisory. Choose a game of the month. Make reviews. Session reports. Podcasrs.

Back to the Book
--Choose Your Own Adventures, Lost World, RPG's SRD's (System Reference Documents), Hoyle's, Humor, Graphic Novels, Comics, Dark Tower, PVP, Knights of the Dinner Table, etc.

--game nights -tournamaents -miniconventions

--Local game groups, conventions, stores press releases, 2.0, game companies will send free stuff.

Video Game Regulation

Katherine A. Fallow "Video Game Regulation and the First Amendment."
(from Jenner & Block, which works with the ALA on the Freedom to Read Foundation)
How solid are the legal arguments against video games? Very shaky indeed.

An argument as old as time itself...
1948 Winters vs. State of NY. Laws were created to battle true crime novels---a new media appealing to the young which may "create criminals." Mostly violence is still the concern.

Constitutional Framework

Are video games protected expression? Or like baseball; are they simply conduct (actual play) or something more? Art? More than Pong?
-Content. Elaborate creative content. Message, not conduct, is governmental concern. Content based regulation, under strict scrutiny.

Compelling State Interest
-Incitement to violence -- intended to entertain, not harm.
-Thought control -- not a legitimate state interest.
-Protecting psychological well-being of minors. No: gov't must prove alleged harm & solution.

Standards Have Not Been Met
-Methodological issues (harmful play)
-Studies never show that video games have harmed players.
-Attempts to show psych. harm unsuccessful.

Narrowly Tailored
-Does legislation sweep too much material in?
-Are there plausible, less restrictive alternatives?
-awareness-raising measures (ratings) -parental controls

Void for Vagueness
-Constitution requires notice of what speech is impermissible.
-What is "human" what is "harm??" Phrases emotional, vague.
-chilling effect law wants to avoid this. A LCD/dumbing down of games, harmful to creativity.

Violent Video Games Not Obscenity
-Limited to explicit secual depictions; rejected by numerous courts.
-Ban Odyssey? Saving Private Ryan?
-Every restriction has been struck down (6 in 2 yrs.) Also in states.

-Major motivator. Movies, comics, gaming is just the next to feel the heat.
-Grand Theft Auto is the most controversial. No evidence that "realistic" violence is more "harmful" than cartoon violence, though.

Helpful Resources for Those Concerned about Video Games
The Rating System Works---AO rating keeps a game back like PG13 or X for film.
Entertainment Software Ratings Board has tools to help us fight these concerns.
Entertainment Software Association is a helpful trade association as well.
-Have teens present why they play to concerned adults. This can be enlightening.
-Stickers, "please uninstall this game when done," cover libraries legally.