Games are drawing attention in libraries as successful outreach tools for tweens, teens and seniors. They are also gaining ground in schools as valuable resources that introduce and reinforce a variety of curricular, social and life skills.
The inclusion of gaming in a library collection is not unexpected if you take some perspective. Libraries hit a turning point when they made the decision to start including popular media in their collections. By doing so, they shifted their collection development practices to be more inclusive of what their patrons want, embracing the desires of the community. They also opened the door to more non-traditional resources. And by continuing to develop a more inclusionary collection development policy, libraries are laying the foundation for building a collection of ideas.
Now, as librarians who grew up playing games are coming into the profession, they are bringing with them a respect and understanding of gaming. And the games themselves are drawing attention with a depth of storyline, once available mainly in RPG’s, which can now be found in nearly every genre of electronic gaming. The story quality in video games has drawn in such Hollywood talent as Samuel L. Jackson, Patrick Stewart and Michael Ironside.
Add to this, the maturation of board games over the last twenty years and you can start to see the value that games hold as community resources. They have grown into another avenue of creative expression that, like a good book or song, can capture and share ideas with those who invest the time.