Teen Halloween Party (2008) with videogames at the John C. Fremont Public Library. The library may well be the last safe, noncommercial space left in a community that is open to all, with no barrier to entry for anyone, in which diverse groups of people interact together in ways they don’t anywhere else. A 2008 Pew Internet and American Life Project report Teens, Video Games, and Civics found that many experiences in game play are similar to classroom-based civic learning opportunities. Those playing games often simulate civic action, help or guide other players, participate in guilds or other groups associated with the game, learn about social issues, and grapple with ethical issues. “When we talked to the children, they viewed video game play as largely a social activity, not an isolating one. It did more than provide a topic of conversation; it provided a structure through multiplayer games in which they practiced and improved their verbal communication skills.” —Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson, Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do (New York: Simon &Schuster, 2008), Kindle Locations 3676, 3717, 3855. The course laid out across the upper floor of the Downers Grove Public Library. Further reading:
Lawrence Kutner and Cheryl Olson, “Some Key Findings from Our Research,” Grand Theft Childhood? website, Summary page, www.grandtheftchildhood.com/GTC/Summary.html (accessed March 20, 2009).
Joseph Kahne, Ellen Middaugh, and Chris Evans, The Civic Potential of Video Games (Oakland, CA: Civic Engagement Research Group at Mills College, 2008), ii.
“Still More Reasons to Offer Gaming in Libraries (and the Value of Play),” The Shifted Librarian, Nov. 28, 2007, http://theshiftedlibrarian.com/archives/2007/11/28/still-more-reasons-to-offer-gaming-in-libraries-and-the-value-of-play.html Nebraska Attestation Review of the Nebraska Library Commission www.nlc.state.ne.us/epubs/A9000/B422-200709.pdf Nebraska Library Commission Response to Attestation Review www.nlc.state.ne.us/epubs/L4000/B050-2009.pdf From: Levine, J. (2009) Gaming and libraries: Learning lessons from the intersection. Library Technology Reports, 45 (5). 5-35.