Want to get yer ass kicked at a game by a librarian?
We here at tl-dr are pretty relaxed about what types of games we talk about. It’s more about the experience and the ways information and games interact (which gives us a wide variety of things to talk about, which is nice). I talk quite a bit about the hardcore gamer side of things, Diane does as well, with a lot more library/information science thrown in, Erik rounds it out with some RP and game design; and then we have some great guest authors like Scott who write about that strange concept known as gamification.
I bring this all up because today I want to try and tie them all together somewhat. I want to bring all of those topics under the same roof and show that they all matter to every population of gamers, librarians, gamificationers (It’s a word… I swear!), and even a little to the nudists…ok maybe not, that’s more Erik’s thing.
The Hardcore Gamers and the Librarians
A bit of a cheesy example, but the Library of Congress is actively collecting video games (as well as the Smithsonian), but the interesting thing to note about that is they are trying to preserve these games for posterity. They have a pretty rigid collection policy, but the preservation of games is a pretty big deal.
I’m an Archivist by trade (among other things), and collecting old media is pretty difficult. Just think of this example:
Do you want to play those old Atari games that were awesome? Others probably do too!
…too bad almost no one has an Atari anymore.
Emulators you say? Not quite the same experience as using the original Atari controller, if you ask me.
So, the hardware preservation is just as important as the software. Check out Extra Credits, they had a good episode about this.
Short but sweet: librarians are trying to preserve the history of gamers, so there are more links than you think!
Games, Gamification, and Librarians
Google just came out with a wonderful new game (maybe not so new? New to me), and I think it’ll be pretty popular because everyone loves trivia. The different with this trivia is that you’re allowed to use Google. And compete against your friends.
Here’s where the librarian part comes in: Librarians love to search for stuff, and they love trivia. A generalization, I know, but a pretty true one. Why you ask?
Before Google (and during Google, and after Google), Librarians will be the ones that can find the information for you. Sure, everyone can find stuff on Google, but a good research librarian will find it faster, and will be able to comb the deep pockets of the Internet that Google can’t touch. Try it sometime, go to a public library and test their skills.
Which brings me to gamification.
Currently in library/information school (yes, librarians have to have a Master’s Degree), the art of searching is taught by understanding the systems and resources and then practicing it a bunch. Why not add a gamification layer to that? Like…perhaps…this Google game? My reference class would have been SO MUCH BETTER if we would have used this game instead of the assignments we did. We could have all done it as a class. Oh man, it would have been AWESOME!
I highly recommend any professor or student who reads this to try using this game in a LIS class; the students will love it more than you will imagine (and you probably will too!). Competing against a professor always makes it more fun.
Librarians are taking care of games, because they like games too. If you don’t believe that, try playing this game against one and see how you do!
Ding! You’ve Leveled Up! Please see your local librarian for training. Or an ass whooping at A Google A Day.