Gaming Day at New York Public Library

In the depths of my disgust at the news of the New York Public Library’s name change yesterday I completely missed this rather cool bit of news: Friday is gaming day at NYPL .

The article in the time is called "Taking Play Seriously at the Public Library With Young Video Gamers," and it begins:

And you thought libraries were supposed to be quiet. Not on Friday.

Under the Beaux-Arts arches of Astor Hall at the New York Public Library’s
flagship building on Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, thumping hard-rock
beats mixed with tennis-ball thwacks and the screech of burning tires
late Friday afternoon, as the library showed off the latest addition to
its collections of books, films, music and maps: video games.

Beneath
the engraved names of august benefactors like John Jacob Astor and
Simon Guggenheim, several hundred children, young adults and the people
who love them virtually jumped, drove, battled and rocked out as the
library celebrated its burgeoning “Game On @ the Library!” initiative.

      Good news, for sure. But the best quotes are a bit further down:

“What we’re seeing is that in addition to simply helping bring kids
into the library in the first place, games are having a broader effect
on players, and they have the potential to be a great teaching tool,”
Mr. Martin said. “If a kid takes a test and fails, that’s it. But in a
game, if you fail you get to take what you’ve learned and try again.

“In
a lot of these games you have to understand the rules, you have to
understand the game’s world, its story. For some games you have to
understand its history and the characters in order to play effectively.”

You betcha! That last paragraph applies to life as well as gaming, if metaphorically. (For anyone who doesn’t believe it, I have one word: "Iraq.")

(A great big thank you to Karen Munro, E-Learning Librarian and iLibrarian for nabbing this.)

About Jon Frater

A gaming industry stalwart dating back to the 1980s, Jonathan Frater is the co-author of roleplaying game books Robotech: Return of the Masters, and Robotech Adventures: Lancer's Rockers, both for Palladium Books. Jonathan also wrote a column on writing and game design called The Tome in Gateways magazine. He's currently a librarian at Metropolitan College of New York. Article 9, the first in his ambitious Blockade Trilogy, is Jonathan's first full-length novel.

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