Off the Shelf Library News - April 2017

Originally published in Seaway News Volume 31, Issue 31

Gaming is big business!

We all probably know at least one individual that seems obsessed with video games. They live, breathe, dream gaming – if they’re not playing, they’re reading about them; if they’re not reading about them, they’re talking about them. And if you’re not a gamer, it can be hard to relate.

Gaming is more than just entertainment. In today’s highly digital world, it is also an important format of digital literacy – just like being able to communicate through reading and writing, communicating and understanding a variety of technological formats can be just as important. And for non-gamers, this is not always something that is top of mind when communicating with a gamer.

Beyond the entertainment value, video games can provide learning opportunities. They can provide the opportunity for players to learn to problem solve using trial and error. Through practice and discipline, players improve their skills. And you cannot forget the language that goes with gaming – have you ever had a conversation with a passionate gamer and not understood most of what they said?

And the other side of playing video games, is the game development side. It’s hard to understand how to create a game, if you don’t first understand what it is you’d be trying to create. As you delve into the world of game development, you learn more about the unique language, the logic and detail that goes into each move, and the creativity it encourages. The worlds that are created can be complex, requiring a lot of skill and knowledge from those involved.

As with some things, moderation can be necessary, but gaming is definitely an important part of our digital lives. And, when learning something new (at any age), it can be intimidating when you start. Public libraries are helping people understand all forms of literacy – including digital literacy – and can be the perfect place to start your journey into gaming.

The SD&G County Library offers a variety devices and activities to help anyone get comfortable with gaming, including access to devices such as the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch, and courses introducing individuals to coding. Contact your local branch or visit to find out what is going on near you.