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Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
Academic Libraries And Video Games
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Academic Libraries And Video Games


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This was a presentation that I gave to a group of librarians here at SDSU. It was an opportunity to present my arguments why I believe that the library needs to seriously consider games and gaming …

This was a presentation that I gave to a group of librarians here at SDSU. It was an opportunity to present my arguments why I believe that the library needs to seriously consider games and gaming technology.

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  • 1. Libraries and Video Games Games and Gamers Creating and Collecting
  • 2. Some Interesting Facts and Figures.
    • Video games have been around for 30+ years. (Yes, they are older than some librarians.)
    • Average number of years adult gamers have been playing computer or video games: 12
    • Frequent game players in 2003: an estimated 83 million worldwide
    • Three times as many Americans (approximately 145 million) played computer and video games as went to the top 5 U.S. amusement parks.
    • With an estimated 22 billion dollar annual turnover, computer games generate more money than Hollywood. ( $7.3 billion from U.S. sales, which twice the U.S. sales in 1996)
    • Computer and video games are a recognized form of art and culture in Germany.
    • Since 1992, video games have been part of French national library’s patrimonial collections. Every video game distributed in France must send in two copies to the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
    • About 43% of digital game players are female. In fact, women over the age of 18 represent a greater portion of the game-playing population (28 %) than boys from ages 6 to 17 (21%).”
    • Approximately 60% of Americans play interactive games on a regular basis; and 32% of those who play computer and video games are age 35 or older with 13% age 50 or older.
  • 3. The Games
    • Games have changed quite a bit over the last 30 years.
    • Remember Pong?
  • 4. Pong’s Maturation
    • Pong and other early Tennis games, like all sports based games, have greatly evolved from simple pixilated sprites to more fully rendered and detailed environments.
    • But speaking of Pong…
  • 5. Popular Culture and History
    • Pong is an excellent example of how video games are now part of the American media’s vocabulary and popular culture.
    • Recent television advertisements reveal that they are more accepted as part of a shared context and experience.
  • 6. Games are everywhere!
    • As technology evolves and becomes more and more pervasive, so do the games we play.
    • Even technology that was not originally intended to be part of game-play, like GPS (Global Positioning Systems). Using these, once military satellites, people are playing a global game of hide and seek called geocaching.
    • Who is playing? As of 2006, there are 312,279 active caches in 222 countries . In the last 7 days (9/15/2006), there have been 203,763 new logs written by 32,913 account holders. Now that is BIG “Hide and Seek” game!
    • Some additional information:
    • and
  • 7. Games are everywhere!
    • Where are the games?
    • Businesses, some Schools
    • Newspapers (sometimes the only reason we buy a newspaper)
    • Radio (call in, in studio events)
    • Television (shows, call in programs)
    • Computer (online, offline)
    • Cell phone (online, offline)
    • Blackberrys
    • Websites (in general, different access)
    • How are games used?
    • Family time. (Board games, video, and computer too!)
    • Get together with friends (cards, LAN parties, multiplayer video games, MMORPG’s)
    • Bars and Grills, Pool Halls, State Fairs, Shopping Mall Arcades, and Student Unions (certainly, various motivations for the games placement, but all to enhance the social experience)
    • By advertising agencies to attract buyers and product interest.
    • In the military for training purposes. (Flight school)
    • Some games in Education, but mostly training designs and not very sophisticated.
    • Games, generally, are designed to mentally challenge and engage; and, sometimes, used to enhance a social experience. The top selling video games have an E or T rating and often have a multiplayer (cooperative or challenger) option.
  • 8. How many sold?
    • Strictly Gaming Units (in 2005):
    • PS2: 106 million
    • Xbox: 24 million
    • GameCube: 21 million
    • Xbox 360 : 5.05 million (as of June 30, 2006)
    • GameBoy: 70 million
    • GBA: 75 million
    • PSP : 20 million
    • DS : 22 million
    • 718 video games have sold over 1 million copies each
    • Super Mario Bros (Nintendo): 41 million copies sold
  • 9. Gamers
    • We’ve talked about games and video games; we even have an idea about video gamer demographics…
    • But, who really are these game-players?
    • Short answer… We all are.
  • 10. Gamers
    • The long answer is that “gamers” are distinct from “casual players” by their devotion to gaming as a hobby. They are fans of games. As might be expected, gamers can be generally classified:
    • Analog/Pen and Paper/Dice and Card games (more about the mechanic/strategy)
    • Board gamers (Monopoly, Settlers of Cataan, RISK, etc.)
    • Tabletop Gamers (Miniatures, some card games)
    • RPG’ers (examples: D&D, Traveler, etc.)
    • Puzzle workers (Sudoku, Crosswords, Jumbles, Mazes, and Brain Teasers)
    • Video/Computer (more about the game-play, sometimes ambiguous and contradictory)
    • Hardcore gamers (game-type, rarer games, but more about frequency)
    • Old school gamer (all about game type, pre-32 bit era)
    • Cyber-athlete (competition, thrill isn’t solely in game context, but competing within it)
    • Import gamers (all about game-type, overseas – mostly Japanese games)
    • Most folks fit into the casual gamer category; they are people who are “occasional video game players” or “beer & pretzel” game players. Additionally, most games are designed for this demographic, because it is the largest. (Target audience of the Wii – all ages)
  • 11. Why is this important?
    • Half-time Summary:
    • (RAPIDLY EVOLVING MEDIA) Games are getting more sophisticated and detailed. Will we have the archive to trace future games’ evolution?
    • (SOCIAL FABRIC) All games are designed to mentally challenge and engage, and, sometimes, enhance social experiences. Libraries represent humanity’s cultural memory, will we forget this part?
    • (MAJOR MEDIA FORMAT) The gaming industry is a multi-billion dollar industry, even dwarfing Hollywood in profits. The Academic Library is constantly looking for outside funding; now a major media product is uncollected and one strongly associated with several academic degree programs (Computer Science, Art, Creative Writing programs) isn’t there an opportunity there?
    • (COMMON) Games are pervasive and attached to or available through most of our daily activities. If this is a new media being used by all and entering into the shared content knowledge (that advertisers use) shouldn’t we collect it?
    • (BEING COLLECTED) A few European countries and some American Public Libraries collect games. The collection of these games is already beginning at National libraries and some Public libraries, doesn’t the Academic library have a role?
  • 12. Creating Games
    • Where are these games being created?
    • There are number of studios in California.
    • Blizzard – Irvine, CA
    • Sierra Entertainment, Los Angeles, CA
    • High Moon Studios – Carlsbad, CA
    • Midway Studios - San Diego, CA
    • Midway Studios - Los Angeles, CA
    • LucasArts – San Francisco, CA
    • Reverge Studios - Culver City, CA
    • Cryptic Studios - Los Gatos, CA
    • Pixologic Studios – Los Angeles, CA
    • Xbox – Newport Beach, CA
  • 13. Creating Games
    • Game creating software, tools, and opportunities are becoming more readily available and easier to use…
    • XNA Game Studio (Xbox)
    • 3d Gamemaker Software
    • Garage Games (Tribes)
    • Multiverse
  • 14. An Education in Gaming?
    • There are several institutions which offer a degree in Computer Game Design and game programming.
    • Game Culture & Tech Lab at the University of California at Irvine .
    • Southern Methodist University in Dallas has a Bachelors in Computer Science with a Game track .
    • Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio , offers an undergraduate major in "game and simulation arts" as part of its bachelor of fine arts degree program.
    • Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Georgia Institute of Technology, and Carnegie Mellon University offer classes on video-game criticism, games as educational tools, and game design.
    • In AUGUST 12, 2004 SDSU offered a new course on the “ Introduction to the Game Industry ” through the college of extended studies.
  • 15. Are there Jobs?
    • Computer game designers are expected to be among the fastest growing occupations over the next decade.
    • Full time computer game designers earned an average salary of $74,900. Those with higher levels of education earn higher wages.
    • The market is expected to become very competitive. The right mix of skills; however, is difficult to find.
    • London: Game Career Fairs
    • Jobs
    • Some notable locals…
    • Blizzard (Headquartered in Irvine, CA. )
    • Sierra Entertainment (Headquartered in Los Angeles, CA.)
    • High Moon Studios (Headquatered in Carlsbad, CA)
    • Midway Studios - San Diego & Los Angeles (Headquarters, Midway Games, Chicago, IL)
  • 16. Digital Games used in learning?
    • “Games are widely used as educational tools, not just for pilots, soldiers and surgeons, but also in schools and businesses.”
    • _The Economist, August 4, 2005
  • 17. Games in Learning
    • Games, in general, have been a part of learning for a long time. (scavenger hunts, in class debates, question and answer, building competitions, etc.)
    • Computer/Video games are the next step?
    • May help address issues in Cross-curricular areas and more interdisciplinary fields.
  • 18. Games in Learning
    • Examples of use:
    • Historical simulations ( Decisive Battles – History Channel)
    • Planning and architecture
    • Problem solving (instant response)
    • Economics and financial management
    • Literacy
    • Physics (gravity, vectors, acceleration)
    • Chemistry
    • Astronomy
    • Cultural studies and religion
    • Library research (as part of game mechanic)
  • 19. Collecting Games?
    • Why? They are just games after all… right?
    • Information as Object (understood as painting, sculpture, various old collectables) Objects that inform us about time and place.
    • Games build upon each other. There is an evolutionary process.
    • Part of American culture. A video game playing generation -- 30 years in the making.
    • Part of World Culture. (World of Warcraft – Blizzard Entertainment as of June 2006 had 6.6 million subscribers worldwide -- 2 million in the USA, 1 million in Europe, and the rest mostly in China and Southeast Asia. (that is 3x the popualtion of Chicago, 5x San Diego, or roughly the population of Switzerland.)
    • Technology is constantly evolving. We may not be able to view these older games.
  • 20. Fundraising opportunities
    • Regionally , in the California area, there are a number of Video and Computer Game Companies.
    • These companies are constantly looking for College graduates to work for them.
    • We are providing a service, by archiving, making available for study, and supporting the next generation of game designers.
  • 21. Thank you!
    • Questions?
  • 22. Wil Weston Engineering Librarian SDSU Library, Reference