T h e U t o p i a n L i b r a r y

w o r k ▪ p l a y ▪ l e a r n ▪ s h a r e

“Eli is the Coolest”

That would be Michelle again, keeping up the Twit feed about Eli Neiburger‘s Sunday afternoon GSSL2007 presentation, The Payoff: Up Close and Personal. Unfortunately, I lost battery power before the end of this presentation. I gave it my best.

Gaming fits in with our library mission statements, but what’s in it for us?

Ann Arbor Library District puts out 50 gaming events a year.

  • Equipment is a large up-front cost, but can be borrowed if necessary
  • Major expenses
    • Hardware >> biggest expense ($5,000)
    • Software
    • Food
    • Prizes
    • Promotions
  • Initial cost-per-player can be high ($35/player), but goes down considerably over time (as low as $5/player)
  • Total cost for program of 30-50 players can be $150 including prizes, food, promotions.
  • Gamers could be a larger percentage of our library users than recreational readers. If not now, then in the near future.

Entertainment Software Association statistics

  • Average gamer is 33 years old
  • 69% of US heads of households report playing video games
  • 31% are under 18; 44% are 18-49; 25% are 50+

Teen gamers

  • “If you have a knitting program, it’s not because the people need socks.”
  • People want to have fun at the library
  • Get the right game into the library and the teens will pour in the door and not leave

Senior gamers

  • Wii opens gaming to a new market of seniors
    • Bowling leagues
    • Triggers muscle memory
    • They can do it!

Certain games have a very narrow, but intense, appeal
Other games (such as Wii Sports) appeal to a larger, diverse audience

Conversations Through Content

  • Library staff delivers content (storytime) to primary audience (kids) and secondary audience (parents standing around room)
  • Kids socialize with each other, parents socialize with kids and each other
  • We make a social event out of a piece of content that would normally be consumed individually
  • Conversations about video games attract users who would not normally come in to the library to talk about books.

And then… the laptop battery died. For more about Eli’s presentation, see D.W. Free’s blogsite, David’s Random Stuff.

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