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Cool Links: Meet the Gamers; The Games Children Play

Posted Jul 27, 2005
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In theory, you have a less hectic schedule in summer and can do some recreational and professional reading. Let's hope so, anyway.

If so, here are a couple of links that fit both the "recreational" and "professional" categories. Since we steered you last month toward information on online collaborative and role-playing games and what they may mean for current and upcoming generations of learners and researchers, we're hoping you'd like to see some more on the subject:

-- Library Journal recently published Meet the Gamers, by Kurt Squire and Constance Steinkuehler, who cut to the chase as follows:

Why pay attention to games? For starters, games are the "medium of choice" for many Millennials, with broad participation among the 30 and under population … Game cultures feature participation in a collective intelligence, blur the distinction between the production and consumption of information, emphasize expertise rather than status, and promote international and cross-cultural media and communities. Most of these characteristics are foreign, or run counter to print-era institutions such as libraries. At the same time, game cultures promote various types of information literacy, develop information seeking habits and production practices (like writing), and require good, old-fashioned research skills, albeit using a wide spectrum of content. In short, librarians can't afford to ignore gamers.

Or how about this tidbit?:

Every time we meet with students, we ask who has checked a book out from the library based on an interest generated through game play. Roughly half say yes.

Follow the link to the LJ article and follow the authors' lead … learn about, try out some online games.

-- Or you can sit back and watch a 30-minute streaming video, The Games Children Play, which is equally entertaining and instructive. Here's the description of the program, hosted on a U.K.-based Web site called Teachers' TV:

The UK is the world's third-largest market for video and computer games, generating sales of over one billion pounds a year. Amidst hot debate, computer games are set to enter the classroom as learning tools.

This programme features two leading academics who support the use of games in education: Henry Jenkins, director of comparative media studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Jim Gee, professor of education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

They look at a number of UK-based education projects using gaming technology, including an initiative aiming to help children author their own games.

 For summer, hot topic, cool links!

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