Gaming and
the New Literacy

                      Beth Gallaway
    informationgoddess29@gmail.com
  Canadian Library Ass...
What is a Game?
GAME: activity
 engaged in for
 diversion or
 amusement;
 synonym: see FUN

VIDEO GAME: an
  electronic ga...
Ways to Play Video Games
•   At an Arcade
•   On a PC or Mac
•   On a Plug ‘n’ Play Device
•   On a Mobile Device
•   On a...
Console Gaming Devices
                9.77 million



                7.36 million



                3.32 million

http:...
Handheld Gaming Devices


             21.24 million



             42.70 million



http://www.vgcharts.org
Why Games at the Library?
Games …
• Are the medium of choice for the
  millennial generation
• Are educational and recreat...
Does This Sound Like
Any Gamers You Know?

     •   Social                                                •      Heroic
  ...
Learning Principles in Games*
        •   Risk –taking in a “safe” environment
        •   Rewards practice
        •   Us...
Gaming Meets Developmental
     Needs of Young Adolescents
         Positive social interaction with adults & peers
      ...
How much money did
      computer & video game
      sales gross in 2005?*


          $7 Billion
* Entertainment Software...
What is the average age of
  the gamer?*


                                       33
* Entertainment Software Association....
What percentage of teens report
  playing games online**?


                                  81 %




   ** Pew Internet ...
What percentage of games sold in
  2005 were rated M for Mature?


                                                       ...
Ratings
 The Entertainment Software Ratings
 Board (ESRB) is a self-regulating body
 established by the Entertainment Soft...
Gaming = literacy
• Environmental print
  – signage
  – labels
  – maps
• Reading about the game
  – instructions
  – walk...
“Leet”




& 4 // 3 I2 5
GAMERS
Gaming Reinforces
  New Literacies
       • Exposing knowledge

       • Employing information

       • Expressing ideas ...
1. Exposing Knowledge

• Find information
• Understand and explain
  found information
  regardless of its format
• Evalua...
2. Employing Information
• Computation

• Measurement

• Analysis

• Application
3. Expressing Ideas Compellingly

   • Mechanics matter

   • Creativity & efficiency highly rated

   • Text, images, aud...
Ways Gamers Express
Ideas Compellingly
•   Fan Fiction
•   Machinima
•   Web Comics
•   Fan Forums
•   Clan Websites
Ethics on the Internet
• Modding – recreating game content

• FanFic – writing stories about characters
  created/owner by...
Reader’s Advisory to Gamers
INSTEAD OF:
• What authors do you like to read?
• What are the last 3 books you read and
  enj...
Reader’s Advisory to Gamers



          −>
Roleplaying/MMORPG Games
  • Games:
    – Everquest
    – Runescape
    – World of Warcraft
    – Dark Age of Camelot
    ...
Historical Sim Games
• Games:
  – Civilization
  – Caesar
  – Age of Empires
  – Oregon Trail
  – America’s Army
• Charact...
Sports Games
• Games:
  – Madden Football
  – NBA Street
  – Need for Speed
  – Tiger Woods
  – Golf
• Characteristics
  –...
Strategy & Puzzle Games
• Games:
  – Myst
  – Tetris
  – Bejeweled
  – Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?
• Character...
First Person Shooters (FPS)
  • Games:
    – Doom
    – Quake
    – Halo
  • Characteristics
    – Warfare
    – Strategy
...
Simulations

• Games:
  – The Sims
  – The Urbz
• Characteristics:
  – Character driven
• Suggest?
Japanese/Manga tie-in
  • Games:
    – Katamari Damacy
    – Final Fantasy
    – Dragonball Z
    – Pokemon
  • Characteri...
Superhero Games
• Games:
  – Spider-Man
  – Fantastic Four
  – City of Heros
• Characteristics
  – Heroes/villains setting...
Don’t Forget
Print Resources for Gamers
 1.   Magazines
 2.   Strategy guides
 3.   Nonfiction about gaming
 4.   Fiction ...
Video Game Culture
• Watch Red Vs. Blue
• Read Penny Acade
• Read PvP
• Set a Google Alert
• Subscribe to a gaming podcast...
More Ways to Immerse!
• Join the LibGaming Google Group
  – Email discussion for gaming in libraries
• Game On! Video Game...
Game Policy Questions
•   Who is the collection for?
•   What formats will you collect?
•   What genres will you collect?
...
Best Practices: Collections in US
 • Helen McGraw branch of the Irondequoit (NY)
   Public Library
 • Games Rated E, E10+ ...
Evaluating Games
  Plot
+ Setting
+ Character
+ Graphics
+ Soundtrack
+ Modification/Customization
+ Uniqueness
__________...
What Makes a Successful
Gaming Program?
1.   Do your homework
2.   Provide variety
3.   Open up to the community
4.   Spre...
Program Tips
• Choose games appropriate to age
  group
• Choose multiplayer games
• Choose games with short rounds
• Offer...
Free Play vs. Tournaments
• Both are structured
• Both may include other activities
• Emphasis is on fun
• Free play = mor...
Model Gaming Programs
• Santa Monica Public Library, CA
  Counterstrike LAN party
  – After hours program
  – 50 teens lin...
Model Gaming Programs: US
• Ann Arbor District Library (MI)
  Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, & DDR
  – Tournaments for all ...
“Ddr+gutiart hero= fun”
“Awesome cuz everyone gets along with each
  other, there’s no waiting in line or nething.
  Plus ...
Think Like A Gamer!
Develop a BETA PROJECT
Questions & Handouts
• Beth Gallaway
• informationgoddess29
  @gmail.com
• 603.247.3196
• http://information
  goddess29.com
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Canadian Library Association Conference

  1. 1. Gaming and the New Literacy Beth Gallaway informationgoddess29@gmail.com Canadian Library Association Conference May 2007
  2. 2. What is a Game? GAME: activity engaged in for diversion or amusement; synonym: see FUN VIDEO GAME: an electronic game played by means of images on a video screen and often emphasizing fast action Merriam-Webster Online. http://www.m-w.com
  3. 3. Ways to Play Video Games • At an Arcade • On a PC or Mac • On a Plug ‘n’ Play Device • On a Mobile Device • On a Handheld Device • On a Console
  4. 4. Console Gaming Devices 9.77 million 7.36 million 3.32 million http://www.vgcharts.org
  5. 5. Handheld Gaming Devices 21.24 million 42.70 million http://www.vgcharts.org
  6. 6. Why Games at the Library? Games … • Are the medium of choice for the millennial generation • Are educational and recreational • Meet developmental needs of teens • Reinforce new literacies
  7. 7. Does This Sound Like Any Gamers You Know? • Social • Heroic • Competitive • Multi-taskers • Wired • Global • Self-aware • Collaborative • Always On • Risk Takers Beck, John and Mitchell Wade. Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever. Harvard Business School Press, 2004.
  8. 8. Learning Principles in Games* • Risk –taking in a “safe” environment • Rewards practice • Use of affinity groups • Probing cycles • Situated meaning • Self-knowledge • Identity formation *** Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Palgrave McMillan, 2003
  9. 9. Gaming Meets Developmental Needs of Young Adolescents Positive social interaction with adults & peers • Structure and clear limits • Physical activity • Creative expression • Competence and achievement • Meaningful participation in families, school, • communities • Opportunities for self-definition NMSA. NMSA Research Summaries. Young Adolescents Developmental Needs (1996) http://www.nmsa.org/Research/ResearchSummaries/Summary5/tabid/257/Default.aspx
  10. 10. How much money did computer & video game sales gross in 2005?* $7 Billion * Entertainment Software Association. Top 10 Facts. http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php
  11. 11. What is the average age of the gamer?* 33 * Entertainment Software Association. Top 10 Facts. http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php 28 December 2006
  12. 12. What percentage of teens report playing games online**? 81 % ** Pew Internet & American Life Project. Teens and Technology, July 2005.
  13. 13. What percentage of games sold in 2005 were rated M for Mature? 15% * Entertainment Software Association. Top 10 Facts. http://www.theesa.com/facts/top_10_facts.php
  14. 14. Ratings The Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) is a self-regulating body established by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). ESRB applies and enforces game ratings, advertising and online privacy principles. http://www.esrb.org
  15. 15. Gaming = literacy • Environmental print – signage – labels – maps • Reading about the game – instructions – walkthroughs • Writing about the game – forums – websites • Chat: – “WTS, Mageweave cloth, 15g”
  16. 16. “Leet” & 4 // 3 I2 5 GAMERS
  17. 17. Gaming Reinforces New Literacies • Exposing knowledge • Employing information • Expressing ideas compellingly • Ethics on the Internet Warlick, David. ”The New Literacies.” TechLearning. Mar-Apr2005 http://www.techlearning.com/story/showArticle.php?articleID=47102021
  18. 18. 1. Exposing Knowledge • Find information • Understand and explain found information regardless of its format • Evaluate information • Organize information
  19. 19. 2. Employing Information • Computation • Measurement • Analysis • Application
  20. 20. 3. Expressing Ideas Compellingly • Mechanics matter • Creativity & efficiency highly rated • Text, images, audio, and video are used to express ideas in many digital formats
  21. 21. Ways Gamers Express Ideas Compellingly • Fan Fiction • Machinima • Web Comics • Fan Forums • Clan Websites
  22. 22. Ethics on the Internet • Modding – recreating game content • FanFic – writing stories about characters created/owner by someone else • Machina – films/videos created through recording video game play
  23. 23. Reader’s Advisory to Gamers INSTEAD OF: • What authors do you like to read? • What are the last 3 books you read and enjoyed? • What did you like about them? ASK: • What movies do you like? • What TV shows do you watch? • What games do you play?
  24. 24. Reader’s Advisory to Gamers −>
  25. 25. Roleplaying/MMORPG Games • Games: – Everquest – Runescape – World of Warcraft – Dark Age of Camelot – Ultima • Characteristics – epic fantasy setting – good vs. evil theme • Suggest?
  26. 26. Historical Sim Games • Games: – Civilization – Caesar – Age of Empires – Oregon Trail – America’s Army • Characteristics – Simulation elements – Historical setting – Alternative history possibility • Suggest?
  27. 27. Sports Games • Games: – Madden Football – NBA Street – Need for Speed – Tiger Woods – Golf • Characteristics – Sports theme – Competition • Suggest?
  28. 28. Strategy & Puzzle Games • Games: – Myst – Tetris – Bejeweled – Where in the World is Carmen San Diego? • Characteristics: – Problem to solve – Logic, math, reasoning • Suggest?
  29. 29. First Person Shooters (FPS) • Games: – Doom – Quake – Halo • Characteristics – Warfare – Strategy – Violent • Suggest?
  30. 30. Simulations • Games: – The Sims – The Urbz • Characteristics: – Character driven • Suggest?
  31. 31. Japanese/Manga tie-in • Games: – Katamari Damacy – Final Fantasy – Dragonball Z – Pokemon • Characteristics – Anime style – Japanese culture • Suggest?
  32. 32. Superhero Games • Games: – Spider-Man – Fantastic Four – City of Heros • Characteristics – Heroes/villains setting – Good vs. evil theme – Film tie-ins • Suggest?
  33. 33. Don’t Forget Print Resources for Gamers 1. Magazines 2. Strategy guides 3. Nonfiction about gaming 4. Fiction with gaming as a plot or subplot
  34. 34. Video Game Culture • Watch Red Vs. Blue • Read Penny Acade • Read PvP • Set a Google Alert • Subscribe to a gaming podcast or blog • Skim gaming magazines • Pay attention to gaming around you in public spaces • Try some games yourself!
  35. 35. More Ways to Immerse! • Join the LibGaming Google Group – Email discussion for gaming in libraries • Game On! Video Games in Libraries blog – Blog about gaming news of interest to libraries • Join YALSA and the Teen Gaming Interest Group – YALSA interest group dedicated to gaming • Celebrate Teen Tech Week – Annual celebration of teens + technology in libraries, March 2008
  36. 36. Game Policy Questions • Who is the collection for? • What formats will you collect? • What genres will you collect? • What is your selection criteria? • What resources will you use to select? • Where will you purchase from? • Is there a donation policy? • How will the collection be classified/cataloged? • Where will the collection be stored? • How will it be displayed? • What security measures need to be taken? • What is the procedure for materials challenge?
  37. 37. Best Practices: Collections in US • Helen McGraw branch of the Irondequoit (NY) Public Library • Games Rated E, E10+ and T • PS2 and PC games • 14 day circ • $.25/day late fee • game cost+$5/replacement fee • Genres: compilations, sports, racing games, platformers, unique and quirky titles
  38. 38. Evaluating Games Plot + Setting + Character + Graphics + Soundtrack + Modification/Customization + Uniqueness ________________ Replayability
  39. 39. What Makes a Successful Gaming Program? 1. Do your homework 2. Provide variety 3. Open up to the community 4. Spread the word 5. Play
  40. 40. Program Tips • Choose games appropriate to age group • Choose multiplayer games • Choose games with short rounds • Offer two to three games in conjunction with board or tabletop games
  41. 41. Free Play vs. Tournaments • Both are structured • Both may include other activities • Emphasis is on fun • Free play = more casual, self- competitive • Tournament = more rules, competitive tone and prizes for winners
  42. 42. Model Gaming Programs • Santa Monica Public Library, CA Counterstrike LAN party – After hours program – 50 teens lined up around the block to play • After School Zone, Benicia Public Library, CA – Hanging out, snacks and playing games encourages – Kids and teens who have gotten parental consent can play Halo 2 and Ghost Recon on the XBox 360; – Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros. Melee are popular on Gamecube
  43. 43. Model Gaming Programs: US • Ann Arbor District Library (MI) Mario Kart, Super Smash Bros, & DDR – Tournaments for all ages – Regular programs – Online community • North Hunterdon High School (NJ) – Student-run game night in the cafeteria
  44. 44. “Ddr+gutiart hero= fun” “Awesome cuz everyone gets along with each other, there’s no waiting in line or nething. Plus guitar hero is a wicked rad game.” “I loved DDR” “I liked this because there’s too few of the DDR community around. This is a good opportunity to meet people with like interests.”
  45. 45. Think Like A Gamer! Develop a BETA PROJECT
  46. 46. Questions & Handouts • Beth Gallaway • informationgoddess29 @gmail.com • 603.247.3196 • http://information goddess29.com
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