The MLA ’08 Librarian Convention

Last week Thursday (11/20) I took my speech down to Mississippi to talk to the grassroots. I’ve spoken at PAX, I’ve been on the radio and TV, I’ve been published anywhere, but I think I did the most GOOD last Thursday than in the 5.5 years of GamerDad previous. Think about it. I preached the good word about videogames, gave the best advice I have, and inspired over 400 librarians from tiny libraries across Mississippi to open their minds to electronic gaming. These librarians will convince parents, who will spread it to teachers, and so on, and so on, and so on. Thank you MLA, I had a wonderful time and your enthusiasm is infectious. Also, don’t challenge a librarian to Wii bowling lightly… they might surprise you. READ MORE…

It’s a no brainer really. Libraries are repositories of literature, culture, media, and more. They offer books, magazines, comic books, videos, DVDs, and soon, a lot more videogames. All that’s standing in the way is social reticence to accept videogames as something viable and worthwhile. No problem, that’s what every media goes through. 5 years ago they wouldn’t have hired me – A gamer, A dad – to bring them the good news about videogames but now they’re open and ready to listen.

In the crowd I saw a lot of enthusiasm, a little bit of skepticism, some amusement, and a tiny bit of “I’m not convinced.” Maybe they weren’t but I reached a lot of people. My message. Humbling. Thanks MLA and here’s an open invitation to all the other 49 states.

Let GamerDad kick off your state’s videogame comfort efforts!

No Responses to “The MLA ’08 Librarian Convention”

  1. Awesome! It’s great to hear that people are starting to listen.

  2. Libraries are definitely infected by Wii mania. The Iowa City library has been holding game nights for teens for the past couple of months, and as of December will be loaning out Wii games (which means I might actually use my Wii more, hah!)

    My only concern – and it’s not really a concern, more curiosity – is that Wii is being regarded as some magically different gaming option, superior somehow to more traditional video games. I think this does a disservice to video games, as while I certainly see the benefits of Nintendo’s approach, I would like the people who have been (re)awakened to the joy of videogames to know that Wii just builds on traditional gaming.

  3. I think the main problem, which in a way Simon alluded to, is lack of any “universal” playback standard in games. Print media caries its own viewing standard. Audio and video standards evolved over time, but almost always had one “primary” standard at a time (tape, CD, DVD, etc.). Wii may well be the closest thing we gamers have right now, in terms of installed base. PS2 actually might have Wii beat still — I haven’t really looked at those numbers lately. The main point is that our “media” is balkanized between multiple standards, both in hardware and OS, making it much harder for institutions like library to pick the standard that best serves their public. Then again, being open to donations of all media types wouldn’t hurt them much. Then maybe we can get librarians in the fight against DRM nonsense too…

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