The Library as Amusement Park

<a href="">The Library as Amusement Park</a> Public libraries betray their mission in embracing video games. Only those who haven’t checked out a book in the new millennium would be surprised that the public library is now making video games available. The image of the urban public library as a citadel of culture and quietude shielding patrons from the noisy, dumbed-down, digital world outside has taken a hit in recent years.


Libraries are about information and videogames are if anything information in its most entertaining guise. The use of video games and other media is a means to an end. That end being getting reluctant readers to (gasp) read. Video games are the movies of the current generation in that video game sales now eclipse the box office sales of most movies.

Video games (much like movies, television and yes books) are now the province of tie in merchandise including books that extend the plot of games and in some cases even accompany the game itself.

Libraries need to stay relevant and to that end they need to offer services and materials that their patrons want.

As to the contention that video games "atrophy the mind" this is pure horse puckey. The fact is that study after study has shown that video game players actually out perform their non-video game playing peers in problem solving skills and eye hand coordination...two very important parts of brain development.

The argument made by the author of this piece is an old one and unfortunately it is one that will be spit out periodically by those desperate to look relevant.

>The use of video games and other media is a means to an end. That end being getting reluctant readers to (gasp) read.

If we are just talking a means to an end why not use cash, alcohol, drugs and hookers. These suggestions will beat Wii bowling any day.

Because alcohol, drugs and hookers are illegal my less then astute do realize this don't you? If not might I recommend a primer on basic juvenile laws and their application with juvenile populations. For that matter with adult populations as well.

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