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From Gulliver’s Travels to Guitar Hero


The next time you walk into your local library, you might find
more than just Jonathon Swift. According to a recent study performed by the Syracuse
University’s School of Information Studies, about twenty-five percent of all
libraries are holding video game events.

Here in Los Angeles, about half of the county’s eight-six
libraries hold a gaming event at least once a month. According to a recent
article in the Los Angeles Times, these programs may be responsible for increasing
teenage foot traffic by fifty percent. Nationwide, public libraries have been incorporating
game nights as a way to lure readers, young and old, through their front doors.

Surprisingly, the American Library Association has given
this practice their seal of approval. The group has even designated today
National Games @ Your Local Library Day. Near Tech-Gaming headquarters, the San
Fernando Public Library will be hosting a Guitar Hero 3 event tonight.
Librarian Lydia Harlan hopes that attendees, “will become more comfortable with
the library and become familiar with the librarians.” And, if even a few attendees
come back to pick up a book next week, the event will be a success.

Critics might say that libraries are for quiet book reading,
and frown upon this carrot-on-a-stick approach to bolster attendance. We’re
happy that these institutions are offering a substitute for the social
interaction lost when arcades became extinct in the U.S.The next time you’re at the front desk, ask for SingStar with your Shakespeare.

About Robert Allen

With over 35 years of gaming experience, Robert 'DesertEagle' Allen is Tech-Gaming's resident worrier/warrior who spends his days teaching at three colleges and his nights devoted to JRPGs.

9 comments

  1. Uh, not such a good idea. The last thing I need is my local library smelling like Gamestop and crawling with kids.

  2. I wasn’t aware of this. Now, I’m wondering if libraries also check out games like books. That would be great!!!

  3. Uh, the kids playing a real guitar, not guitar Hero. Other than that, good read.

  4. Thats why China and India will be the next superpowers, because our kids are playing games instead of reading.

  5. I think some of you are overreacting- this isn’t going on all the time. Like the article said “Once a month”. Jeez.

    If this gets kids to use the library so much the better.

  6. Yes, I think some of you are overreacting. This sounds like a good thing.

  7. I wanted to get rid of an old TV so I put it up for free on Craigslist. Well, the person who answered the call was a lady from the library down the street.

    She told me they were going to use the TV to hook it up to an Xbox for the kids.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having events at the library to get more people more aware of this free service to the community. Play a game, check out a book. It’s all good.

  8. The libraries near me are full of kids, who are dumped off by their parents. Librarians are not baby sitters! After reading a few books, naturally, the kids get bored. They start talking, making noise and ruining the experience for everyone. Will GT3 help this situation? DOUBTFUL.

  9. That seems like a cool idea to me. I checked with my local Libary here in Florida, no game night.