Gaming in Libraries?

Anonymous Patron writes "Interview: Steven Markley: The Bulldog of Good Game Design

What's "gaming" all about, and why should librarians care?

'See, most of us sit and wait for our stories to be hand-fed to us, occasionally flexing our imaginations within the bounds of what's been given to us, but otherwise not bothering to think beyond that. But RPGs force us to interact with the story and contribute to its telling; there's a certain magic that results from the ideas of four or five people bouncing around a table or living room or wherever. There's no telling where a story may go, and so will always go in directions the game master doesn't expect due to player input. And that's the beauty of it...' n-markley-bulldog-of.html"


Before Google starts talking about so-called 'banned' books maybe they should look at their own policies and their dealings with China.

Sure, Greg! But the deal is, I live in the United States, not China. I'll be the first to go after Google about those Chinese policies (and I have been) but it looks like you want to deflect a little. As usual. If you want to carry that a little further, there's Rumsfeld shouting "unclean!" about that no good Saddam (and he was no good, he is a vicious murderer), but I remember Rumsfeld cavorting with Saddam and grinning the entire time. So should we bail out of Iraq? I don't think so, but you...I wonder about.

1. Deflect? No, I simply don't have a problem with schools removing books when they are freely available elsewhere. When Google helps China censor they are censoring all possibilities of access.

2. Cavorting? No, simply playing Iran and Iraq off one another and keeping them out of everyone else's hair. A strategy that may have worked at the time but destined to failure in the long run.

While I don't agree with Google's policies in China, I think more people need to learn the politics of business. When you do business in a foreign country, you will do business by their rules. Business practices in China are far different from those in America which are far different than those in Japan. Not only are the laws different, but the customs vary widely. For instance in America, someone hands you a business card, you take it and slip it into you wallet or business card holder, put it in your back pocket and have a seat. Nothing wrong with that, right?Not unless you're standing in Tokyo. It's considered very rude to place a business card in a wallet and sit on the wallet. It's like you're sitting on their identity.If Google wants to do business in China, they will do business by China's rules, not America's. And folks, if Google wants to take the high road and say "we're not going to do business in a censoring government" that'd be a fine and upstanding thing to do. But let me tell you something, if Google doesn't do the business, someone else will and then that someone else will get all that money.The fact of the matter is that China has the world's biggest economy and that economy is very different depending on which part of China you're in. Beijing has a booming economy sure, but Hong Kong's is better. Businesses would be incredibly stupid, from a corporate perspective, to not sniff around and do some business with China. When a tiny market share in China can still mean millions of people, that's a really big deal for any corporation.

No one is arguing about Google's policies in China (though they certainly could be argued). But regardless of the merits, its hypocritical of them to make any statements about censorship in any country at any level.

took me a some extra time to find it but here is a fascinating article on just how much we are helping China crack down on its people.

It is equally hypocritical of you to profess to be a freedom lover when you spout off about how banning books from some milieus is not censorship if they are still available in other milieus. Freedom means that the books are permitted to be available in all milieus. The only real requirements being that they be appropriate to a milieu based on literary, artistic, or educational merits, and what the target audience is. And everything, including works such as Arming America or A Million Little Pieces, has some educational value.

The exception I take to Google's sop to BBW is that it is to make a buck off of it and not out of any interest in freedom or civil liberties. At least that's my take on it.

Interesting what he says about women & gaming. I briefly dated (mercifully, briefly) an RPG in the early '80s--I never could figure out at the time why I could not connect with this guy. He was smart, not bad looking, not really socially inept, but objectified all women. I even got dragged into a D&D game--lasted about 2 minutes, then I walked out and pretty much told the guy that I had enough of him & his games. Most ridiculous experience I ever had.Fortunately, I think times have changed and I've grown up--I've met gamers in their 20s who are great people (and the games seem to be better too). Or maybe I'm more tolerant. Whatever.

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