Do video games have any value when it comes to academic research? Do they belong on shelves alongside books and movies as study materials? One university's library curator thinks they do, and he plans to add games both new and retro to the school's archives.
"Video games are just another media format for conveying information, whether it's narrative information, or story, or another way to express visual effects, or AI or computer programming," the University of Calgary's Jerremie Clyde, the librarian in charge of forming the new video game section in the library, told The Gauntlet, the university's paper. "Studying games as a media, whether it's in social sciences, communication and culture, education [or] digital humanities, is becoming more popular."
The new section will include six gaming stations where students will have access to old and new titles, ranging from the venerable PC to the time-honored classics and even new releases, such as those on the PlayStation 3. Apparently, the University of Calgary won't be the first to have a video game section in the library, though it's an addition that's welcomed by the faculty, such as by professor Dawn Johnston, who says games "teaches something about our culture."
Of course, not everyone is jazzed. Some are worried it could lead to a distraction. But, hey, you know what? I'm not even going to pull that quote because, honestly, if you're looking for a way to hide from your midterms you're going to find it. You could rent a movie from the library, mess around on the Internet for hours, or just fall asleep in the corner.
The collection sounds small right now, but it's a neat first step toward something that could be the norm in any library in the future.