I have involved myself into a number of conversations about gaming in libraries. I do this with many topics and not only gaming. Why? I feel that I’m in this world to make a difference and not to let things pass by me.
What kind of games should a library have? There are two opinions that I am aware of, on this issue. The first opinion reflects the world the way it is today and points out: “All kinds of games should be added to the collection to bring users in the library.” The second opinion reflects the world the way some of us (including me) want it to be and goes as follows: “Only educational games should be added to the collection.”
Let me try to explain the reason why I feel this way. There is no doubt that, in order to prove their value and get more funding, libraries are trying to attract potential users. Here is the dilemma. Do I really want to add “World of Warcraft”, or similar games, to the collection and even plan gaming nights with this type of games? I, personally, do not want to do this. If libraries support these kinds of games, users who don’t belong in the library will come and incidents like the recent ones in Colorado will take place in some library.
Libraries are educational, and yes recreational, places. Recreation should not have to involve violence. If we, the librarians, allow ourselves to go with the flow of our time, chasing money in any unproductive, unethical, and non-educational way, then there is no hope for the future. Besides, sheep and cattle go with the flow, not humans. Humans have the ability to critically think and choose!