Beyond a Fad: Why Video Games Should Be Part of 21st Century Libraries


  • Kym Buchanan University of Wisconsin
  • Angela M. Vanden Elzen Lawrence University



We believe video games have a place in libraries. We start by describing two provocative video games. Next, we offer a framework for the general mission of libraries, including access, motivation, and guidance. As a medium, video games have some distinguishing traits: they are visual, interactive, and based on simulations. We explain how these traits require and reward some traditional and new literacies. Furthermore, people play video games for at least three reasons: immersion, challenge, and connection. Finally, we offer guidelines and examples for how librarians can integrate video games into library collections and programming.


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