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Lessons We’ve Learned From Society Violence and Videogames Most people assume a causal link between violence and videogames. In 2007, only 15% of videogames sold were rated M or adult. Just as not every PG-13 movie is appropriate for every 13 year old, not every E or T game may be appropriate for every child or teen.
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games In 2004, Drs. Kutner and Olsen initiated the largest and most in-depth unbiased study of video games in the U.S. Over 1,200 middle school students and 500 parents surveyed over a two year period Report described some behavior problems linked to videogames…but not how most people would expect
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games Girls more than boys (12% vs. 3%) were more likely to report bullying, being in fights, or trouble in the classroom. Only one problem behavior (hitting) was significantly linked to near-daily game play. The vast majority of M-gamer kids did not report the behavior problems long associated with violent video games. Boys who didn’t regularly play video games were more likely to get into fights than any other group. M-game players were significantly more likely to play games in social settings, with one or more friends in the same room.
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Video Games www.grandtheftchildhood.com
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society Benefits of Playing Video Games Allow teens to try on roles and behaviors in a safe environment Provide practice in planning and anticipating consequences May help teens manage difficult emotions May promote involvement in sports/exercise Can improve visual/spatial skills Provide a focus for socializing May provide a source of self-esteem and pride
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society Pew/Internet study Teens, Video Games, and Civics, released September 2008 Only 24% of teens ONLY play video games alone. Some qualities of game play have a “strong and consistent positive relationship to a range of civic outcomes.” Teens who take part in social interaction related to games are more engaged socially and civically
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society The Civic Potential of Video Games A must-read for any library offering or considering offering game play Gaming in public spaces help nurture democratic values and political engagement Model John Dewey’s conception of democratic community, therefore can be useful learning tools, especially in a school setting
Lessons We’ve Learned From Society What does any of this have to do with libraries? Don’t have the constraints of schools (time, No Child Left Behind) No barrier to entry Safe, noncommercial space Diversity Libraries offering this kind of space and experience are seeing success
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement A Pew/MacArthur study found that playing video games can offer opportunities for positive civic experiences for youth and foster connections to the community. Providing opportunities for youth to play games together in a safe, non-commercialized space gives kids a place outside of school to come together, meet new people and learn to resolve their differences without adult intervention.
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement The focus groups interviewed for the report maintain that key appeal of libraries was the transformative power of libraries to make people better human beings. This transformative power—not books—is our brand as libraries, and this happens in relation to people, communal spaces, social programs and a wide variety of services beyond books. Gaming programs draws in patrons otherwise unlikely to visit the library and encourages them to use the library for purposes other than gaming—even checking out books!
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #1 Case Study #1 John C. Fremont Library in small rural town of Florence, Colorado serves about 5,000 people In the 4,000 square foot library, small space in corner devoted to gaming which contains a TV, an Xbox, a Game Cube and Play Station 2 There is no video game or movie rental store in the area—video games are the second highest circulating collection of library
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #1 Gaming has truly transformed the library into a youth friendly place and improved the community’s opinion of the library. Holding tournaments and making games available for checkout draws people who would normally never set foot in a library. Video gaming is not just marketing strategy but a supplement to other library activities.
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #1 Tournament Structure Open to all ages, but mostly frequented by teens In order to compete, must have a library card and no outstanding fines Two or three gaming stations are available Normally held Saturdays at 2:30, 30 min. after closing A bracket system used to determine when people play Food is always available Only rule is NO MATURE-RATED GAMES ALLOWED Since inception, held every other month
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #1 The library often collaborates with other community organizations and schools for gaming tournaments Tournaments have been held for middle school and high school as incentive for academic achievement
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #2 Case Study #2 Ann Arbor District Library in downtown Ann Arbor, Michigan serving a much larger population (millions) Averages 3 event gaming weekends per month , with different games and format for different audiences, which all began with a Mario Kart tournament for teens in August 2004 One of the first public libraries to experiment with gaming to attract kids and teens
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #2 Key part of the experience is a redefined understanding of the library After The library is awesome! The library has exactly what I’m into! The library does it better than anyone! The library give me something I can’t get anywhere else! Before
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement: Case Study #2 Community AADL found that their events and gaming blogs have allowed a tight-knit community of players to form with the library at its center and library staff as sought-after nodes in that network. Gaming can help young patrons view library staff in a more favorable light Providing an online forum allows community formed to continue
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement 2008 Pew Internet and American Life Project report Teens, Video Games, and Civics 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.
Libraries, Videogames and Civic Engagement It has been found that the more frequently players had civic gaming experiences, the more likely they were to be engaged in their community. Playing games with others IN PERSON was related to civic and political outcomes, but playing with others ONLINE did not. In these gaming situations, kids and teens help each other, the foundation of civil engagement. Gaming can provide opportunities for healthy pride in the community and the library.
A Powerful Draw Beyond Youth Culture: Case Study#3 Oak Park Public Library Successful Game Nights for Teens and Elderly “Genre X” Blog and Book Club Hi/Lo Tech Night Hop On Pop
A Powerful Draw Beyond Youth Culture: Case Study#3 Accomplishments Higher Profile and Enhanced Image for Library Staff Experience with New Technology Established New Relationships Contribution to Community
The Benefits of a Planned Approach A case study in project planning and management.
The Benefits of a Planned Approach:Case Study #4 By Rod Wagner and the staff of the Nebraska Library Commission (NLC)
The Benefits of a Planned Approach: Case Study#4 NLC’s Project Development Kept a record of ALL emails Openly bloggedabout process Made a formal proposal in writing to the commission director requesting funds.
The Benefits of a Planned Approach:Case Study #4 Auditor’s Findings The purchase of gaming equipment was a questionable use of public funds. The games were not complicated so did not require the Commission to demonstrate their use to library staff. The Commission is using social networking sites on State time and with State computers which appears to be an inappropriate use of public funds. Photos and videos are posted to websites using State computers on State time without management’s approval. The Commission paid sales tax on the gaming equipment ($29.26).
The Benefits of a Planned Approach:Case Study #4 NLC’s Rebuttals Regarding the “games were not complicated” issue, librarians in the state vary widely in terms of their comfort level with technology and equipment. The NLC is not the only state agency using Web 2.0 sites.
The Benefits of a Planned Approach: Case Study#4 Summary Make goals Document decisions, actions and events Provide context to content on social networking sites Communicate
Gaming as Fundraiser: Case Study #5 Library Mini Golf (LMG) – created by Rick Bolton in 2005. Started as a fundraiser event for Trumball Library following Hurricane Katrina. 500 participants, over $10,000 raised. LMG then became independent organization to help other libraries raise funds. By 2009, dozens of libraries aided. Plans to raise $1 mill. by 2010.
Gaming as Fundraiser: Case Study #5 Results 2,192 library visitors during the day of the event (usual baseline = 1,500). 300-350 actual participants. Event attracted people of all age groups. Visitors mostly came as families. Interviewed patrons gave positive feedback.
Gaming as Fundraiser: Case Study #5 Lessons Learned Family gaming events are increasingly popular at libraries. Effective as fundraising method. Also effective as a way to attract visitors and allow them to learn what the library has to offer.
Gaming and Libraries:Learning From the Intersections Levine, J. (2009) Gaming and libraries: Learning lessons from the intersection. Library Technology Reports, 45 (5). 5- 35. Charlie Terng, Darlene Davis, Ryan Dement, Jen Lemke, Elizabeth Dunn