Librarians urged to play more video games

madcow writes ""[T]here's no doubt that libraries have embraced technology. But speakers said that there was a larger split between students - who are "digital natives," in one popular way of classifying people based on their experience with technology - and librarians, who are more likely to be "digital immigrants." They may have learned the language, but it’s a second language." So says the article at Inside Higher Ed.

"So if this hierarchical model doesn't reach today's students, what will?

James Paul Gee, a linguist who is the Tashia Morgridge Professor of Reading at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the author of Why Video Games Are Good for Your Soul, argued that librarians need to adapt their techniques to digital natives. A digital native would never read an instruction manual with a new game before simply trying the game out, Gee said. Similarly, students shouldn't be expected to read long explanations of tools they may use before they start experimenting with them.""


I'm not quite sure this is the best advice. I mean, who would want an online library resource built like World of Warcraft? You've got involved instructions, unfamiliar tasks, and hard to learn activities. Even WoW enthusiasts would run away from it.

We might as well require librarians to learn pinball.

Imagine the fun, too, as you get to tell patrons that they can't use the electronic databases yet because their researching skill is only at 70 and the databases require level 100. They'll have to go back to looking things up in the print encyclopedias to gain a few more levels... and see the Reference Librarian at the desk to learn Journeyman Researching so they can get up to level 150.(And of course, to get up to level 225 requires finding the right book in the library and reading it...)

You know, I think we should wait till one of the "big players" like Amazon takes the leap first. Then, if they haven't gone bankrupt in a year, we might consider jumping on the bandwagon.Our users, after all, have always wanted distractions and complexity from us. This desire can only increase with the coming generation.

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