Archive for August, 2008

Collectible Card Games Panel

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Collectible Card Games (CCG) and other new collectible games are being discussed by a group of retailers and manufacturers at Gen Con.

Jon Huston, Owner of Troll and Toad
CCGs have hit the mainstream for American consumers. They don’t think about game stores, but rather Wal-Mart as a place for CCGs. These games also have a more maturing audience, sales have reamined steady since players began playing in the early 90s. People are buying for play these days, not for collections. Playability is driving prices, not collectability.

John Mansfield, Owner of Pendragon Games and Hobbies
Stores have a small amount of retail space, and a huge game play area. Small stores are thriving on having the play area. Game stores seem to be more about the gathering space than the selling – selling is being driven by web retailers. If you are a player who wants more playable cards, you have to pay a huge price online.

I know some libraries have CCG programs for playing or trading. Many schools have banned CCGs because of problems related to the trading and the fact that these cards can be quite expensive.  There is a high cost of entry for this type of game. With libraries looking at redefining collections (to the point of loaning people and their expertise) is there a chance that libraries might loan out CCG cards to help someone fill out a deck for a short time?

ALA @ Gen Con

Wednesday, August 13th, 2008

Waiting to present at the Gen Con professional/trade day, I must admit to having a few butterflies about the prospect of flipping from my comfortable role of talking about games to librarians, to talking about libraries to gamers. Gen Con, billed as “The best four days in gaming” is a massive gaming conference that beats ALA Annual conference by a few thousand attendees.
chrisgencon.jpgI Love Libraries has a booth on the exhibit floor to help emphazie the potential for collaboration betweeen gaming and libraries. They will also be passing out copies of the AASL gaming alignment document created by Brian Mayer and the School Library System of Genesee Valley BOCES (where I work). More updates from the trade day and exhibit floor to follow. For now, here is a shot of me at the Gygax memorial die and a link to my presentations for this afternoon.

Gaming in Libraries in the News

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Scott Nicholson discusses “Reframing Gaming” and Jenny Levine rounds up ‘The Games People Play” in the August issue of American Libraries.

Rafael C. Alvardo, Director of Academic Technology Services at Dickinson College (Carlisle, PA), writes about Overcoming the Fear of Gaming: A Strategy for Incorporating Games into Teaching and Learning in EDUCASE, introducing faculty to games as a new medium for curriculum requirements, and recommending, among oher approaches, studying the game critically, not just playing and discussion. For example, “Instead of using Civilization IV to replace the voice of an authoritative text (or podcast, for that matter) on the nature of historical change, faculty can ask students to study the logic of the game as it applies to the subject matter.”

Kelly Czarnecki covers a cross-country Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament on the YALSA blog that involved libraries in NC, MI, and OH. “We improved our geography … as well as our sportsmanship skills [and] teamwork skills,” writes Czarnecki. More coverage is on the PLCMC Gaming Zone blog and the AADL AXIS blog.
“Literacy has more than one meaning,” says Kirsten Andersen, explaining the unconventional collections at the Greater Victoria (Quebec) Public Library.

Columbus Public Library got great coverage in the Dispatch about the library’s gaming initiative. “Gaming is storytelling for teenagers,” said Julie Scordato, teen services specialist. Check out CPL on YouTube.

Gaming & anime are destined to combine at an annual event at the Irvine Library, where teens are invited tobring their own consoles and games to play with. “By setting up a game system you are inviting everyone to play; share and share-alike is the rule.” advises the staff blogger promoting the Anime Club.

The new Goudy branch of the Langford Library (Victoria, Canada) is offering express library services that include popular materials, wifi and gaming stations. Says mayor Stew Young: “It’s what I believe should happen with libraries. We should be building smaller ones, more Internet-friendly, more funky with the coffee shop right beside it.”

1UP, publisher of numerous gaming magazines and related websites, writes on their blog: “It should come as no surprise that we at 1UP wholeheartedly support the notion of videogames in libraries, and we bow down to the inevitable future of Halo-savvy librarians.”

Brian Mayer posted a short and succinct entry at LibraryGamer on Why Games Belong in Libraries.

In other gaming news…

Gamasutra is offering a webinar titled “Serious Games: Using Gamer Technology to Solve Real-World Problems,”  on Tuesday August 19 at 2pm EDT.

Gaming in Libraries in the News

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Gary (IN) Public Library’s Game Time Galore program offer high and low tech games ranging from Operation to Wii Bowling. Registered participants had to check out two books to get into each session.Librarians at the Montgomery Public Library responded in writing to a political cartoon criticizing gaming at the library. Staff members Carol Legarreta and Kathie Weinberg pointed out that circulation teen books has increased more than 50 percent in the past year.

Professor Megan Winget at the School for Information at the University of Texas (Austin) is working through a grant of over $250K to study collection and preservation of MMOGs. Library Journal’s interview with her appeared at the end of July.

Librarians represented at Comic Con! Merideth Jenson-Benjamin, Mike Pawuk, Eva Volin and David Serchay spoke on a panel. Eva & David even made it on NPR to discuss!

Other Gaming News:

Guitar Hero III: Backstage Pass may now be available on a cell phone near you! It debuted to Sprint customers Thursday August 24 August 18.

The ESA released a report on 2008 stats (even though the year isn’t over yet???) Their annual survey continues to claim that more middle aged women play videogames than boys age 6-17. Check out the newest version of Industry Facts to bolster your videogame advocacy efforts!