Public libraries and gaming

Andrew Lewis of the Library and Information Services at the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead sent me a note about a couple of reports exploring library responses to games and gaming. The first is an account of experiences in a particular project in the library. The second is a review of literature.

  1. Review of Multi-Lib Phase 1: library service development using computer games technology Summer 2002 - Winter 2004/5 [pdf]
  2. Computer games technology and public libraries: a background literature review for service development [pdf]

The latter report notes that views about computer games tend to be polarized around strong approval on the one hand and suspicion on the other, the latter often coming from important stakeholders such as parents or policy-makers. The author argues however that there are strong benefits in terms of marketing and service development in adopting games-based approaches.

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Comments: 0

Dec 21, 2005
John Kirriemuir

Both interesting reads, and the literature review provides a very good overview of various points and positions.

The review alludes to a large body of research on various aspects of digital games, how they are played, by whom, and the effects of playing (both positive and negative). There are links to a small fragment of this research base here.

Since 2001 the research field has gone from being almost exclusively populated by psychologists, to covering a wide range of multidisciplinary topics. The number of journals, books, papers, hubs of activity e.g. DiGRA and the Serious Games initiative, research centres e.g. in Copenhagen, conferences (too many!) indicates that there are several thousand researchers around the world - across many disciplines - studying games and their uses and effects.