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2011 Emerging Leaders Project G (Video Game Collection Development) [Community] Archived

In: 2011 Emerging Leaders Projects
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Online Doc 2011 ALA Emerging Leader Team G Final Project Page

by Kate Kosturski on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 11:43 pm

2011 ALA Emerging Leaders Team G (aka Team Gorillaz) - Videogame Collection Development

2011 ALA Emerging Leaders Team G (aka Team Gorillaz) - Videogame Collection Development

Team G will present information on issues and best practices when developing a video game collection, including Circulation & Access, Selection & Purchasing, Weeding, and an ideal MARC record. The team surveyed public, academic, and school libraries across the United States and Canada and spoke with experts in the field to find out what innovative ideas might change what we know about videogame collections in libraries.

Sponsored by the Games and Gaming Member Interest Group


Team Members

  1. Erik Bobilin, Brooklyn Public Library
  2. Abby Johnson, New Albany (IN) Library
  3. Kate Kosturski, JSTOR/ITHAKA
  4. Jonathan Lu, Bartow County (GA) Public Library
  5. Nicole Pagowsky, Dallas County Community College District


  1. Buffy Hamilton, Creekview (GA) High School
  2. Justin Hoenke, Portland (ME) Public Library
  3. JP Porcaro, New Jersey City University

Staff Liaison

Jenny Levine

Project Page(s) (Download these pages in handy printable PDF format here)

Also visit our kickoff site for the lighter side of our project (including extra opportunities to see our poster and our picks and pans for the conference)


File Videogame Collectio...velopment

by Abby Johnson on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 06:11 pm

PDF File, 371.48 KB

Discussion Rationale

by Abby Johnson on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 06:02 pm


Library rationales for providing gaming collections vary depending on institution type. After conducting a preliminary survey with approximately thirty libraries, we were able to draw some generalizations:


Library rationales for providing gaming collections vary depending on institution type. After conducting a preliminary survey with approximately thirty libraries, we were able to draw some generalizations:

  • Public libraries tend to offer a gaming collection for entertainment purposes, to enrich users through learning and engagement, and to increase circulation through the collection itself and auxiliary pieces (e.g. instruction booklets, fan fiction). Creating a true community center, when programming is offered as well, additionally relates to entertainment and enrichment by encouraging interaction between patrons.
  • School libraries focus more on education in their raison d’être, offering supplementary learning modalities through gaming (see our section on what constitutes a good game). Entertainment is also a goal for a school library collection, and can be used as a tool to help students with socialization and increase interaction between classmates.
  • Academic libraries, although also striving for a form of entertainment in collection offerings, endeavor to support the curriculum. Ranging from game design courses, media studies, engineering, and constructing effective narratives in an English course, these collections are to supplement course material and may even serve as a focal point in certain programs. Some libraries surveyed discussed preservation of video games for historical study: an interest more specific to academic libraries rather than public or school libraries.
  • Special libraries and museums also interested in preserving video game history take up collections to depict the transformation of gaming technology over time and might also tie in cultural importance and related nostalgia.

*We do hope to continue our research and obtain better data by creating a more comprehensive survey for libraries with videogame collections, and plan to make that available in the near future. Please contact us if you would be willing to participate.


Funding is a major issue for libraries interested in collecting video games. When budgets are considered in a rationale, libraries differ in reasoning for support of gaming collections. An interesting point of view from school libraries is the fact that many are required to teach to the test; as videogames are outside of that purveyance, where they diverge from a linear form of learning, having a videogame collection might actually clash with the institutional mission or current needs. In contrast, as the gaming industry reaches a higher demand for employees and as videogames are being applied in new ways to learning, academic libraries find gaming collections better support the mission of the library and institution at large. Public libraries tend to have tighter budgets and might be confronted with the argument that the DVD collection is sufficient in providing entertainment and culture, however other audiovisual materials differ greatly from video games.


There are a number of reasons why videogame collection development policies should be unique from audiovisual collection development policies. Major differences include: videogames are software, are not linear, and are active rather than passive entertainment. In his chapter, Why old school is "cool": A brief analysis of classic video game nostalgia, Sean Fenty offers an intriguing comparison of innovation in technology-driven entertainment industries:

All media of course, are affected by technological advances. The written word, for instance, was changed radically by the invention of the printing press. But new media, tied as they are to quickly developing technologies, change more rapidly. Film, for instance, in just over a hundred years, has developed from its silent, low frame-rate, black-and-white roots to the vivid colors of computer-rendered animations and surround sound explosions that make our insides vibrate. Television has also changed tremendously in form and content in the past fifty years. In the last couple of decades in particular, both film and television have been enormously changed by the computer revolution that continues to push the boundaries of what is visually possible in new media to fantastical heights. Video games, however, were born in the circuitry of this everything machine that is the computer. It was born and bred in an acceleration engine where rapid change is a constant. Not only do games and technology change rapidly in the personal computer and arcade sectors, but in the video game industry's primary arena -- home and portable gaming devices -- the technology of production and consumption undergoes radical changes every half decade when new consoles and handhelds make old models obsolete. It is an industry fueled by the promise of tomorrow of more -- more visual detail, more immersion, and more interactive freedom (Fenty, 2008, pp. 19-20).

These “radical changes” in such short periods of time can greatly affect a collection development policy. It’s likely that audiovisual technology for film collections will change over time, but at a rate not as intense as the videogaming industry. Keeping this in mind when developing a policy would require separating the two entertainments. This would better enable a library to adapt to the changing environment and patron needs. If the videogame collection development policy is tied to the audiovisual collection, it would be more difficult to enact changes and to get as specific as necessary to support the needs of the collections.

Likewise, as an example in academic libraries, collections might serve a variety of purposes that would be detrimental to lump together with other collection policies.

This kind of core collection is especially difficult to put together because game design is interdisciplinary: Students learn about anatomy to be able to replicate human and animal forms; they learn about physics and how characters interact and move within their virtual worlds; they learn about physical space and level design; and they learn how to create a story. In addition, games can teach game-design students about graphic design and marketing and can present business models that will help them create sustainable products (Mastel & Huston, 2009).

Students are also able to learn from films, but there are more facets to what videogames teach because they are so interactive. Likewise, with the increase need for employees in the gaming industry, there is a very meta aspect to learning through gaming as well.

Every library will have different purposes and needs for videogame collections, and the mission of the library should be a driving force behind creating a collection development policy. Other considerations include how and why the collection is unique, and to be sure the policy reflects this.



Fenty, S. (2008). Why old school is “cool”: A brief analysis of classic video game nostalgia. In Z. Whalen & L. N. Taylor (Eds.), Playing the past : history and nostalgia in video games (pp. 19-31). Nashville, TN: Vanderbilt University Press.

Mastel, K., & Huston, D. (2009, March). Using video games to teach game design: A gaming collection for libraries. Computers in Libraries, 29(3), 41-44.




Discussion Circulation & Access

by Abby Johnson on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 05:47 pm

Circulation & Access

Due to the comparatively high cost of videogames in terms of both material cost and staff time for processing, a circulating videogame collection warrants its own circulation policy. Consider an individual library’s need to secure materials against theft versus the need to ensure accessibility to patrons. The following graphic illustrates this relationship and proposes a middle ground.

Circulation & Access

Due to the comparatively high cost of videogames in terms of both material cost and staff time for processing, a circulating videogame collection warrants its own circulation policy. Consider an individual library’s need to secure materials against theft versus the need to ensure accessibility to patrons. The following graphic illustrates this relationship and proposes a middle ground.

Storage and Display

When determining how patrons will access videogames, consider the importance of patron accessibility versus the importance of theft prevention. Generally, as the level of patron accessibility goes up, the potential for theft also increases. When setting policies intended to reduce theft (e.g. keeping games behind a staffed desk), consider the additional staff time involved to enforce policies.

If the goal of the institution is to utilize the popularity of videogames to increase overall circulation of the institution, then care should be taken to monitor whether limitations placed on access for theft prevention are negatively impacting that goal.  The most effective advertisement for a videogame collection may be the collection itself. Some procedures undertaken to prevent theft (e.g. remote storage or CAGED storage) will result in diminished visibility of the collection, thereby potentially reducing circulation. Consider whether reduced circulation due to loss of advertising may exceed reduced circulation due to theft.

Loan Period & Penalties

When setting a loan period for videogames, consider the amount of time required to attain the “gaming experience” versus the demand for the individual item.  Users may require a longer loan period to complete a videogame as compared to the time needed to watch a DVD. However, the longer the loan period, the longer the ensuing wait time for other unique checkouts.  This has direct bearing on overall circulation insofar as the material cost of videogames, as compared to other media items, may restrict the number of copies purchased.  Consider these points when determining whether to allow renewals and/or hold queues for materials. Also consider the “currency” of videogames. Certain materials may have a shorter period of relevancy, as with sports titles (i.e. titles with roster changes every year) or titles connected to the releases of popular books or films.  Consider creating a “quick plays” subsection of the videogame collection as an option to manage the demand for such materials and ensure maximum availability during their period of highest social relevance.

When considering penalties such as late fees, consider both patron accessibility and the cost of videogames and accessories, which may be higher than other media items. If the goal of the institution is to utilize the popularity of videogames to increase the circulation of other non-game materials and/or attendance at library programs, then procedures should be developed towards requiring targeted user groups to physically enter the library as often as possible.


While determining availability and limitations on placing holds on videogames, consider how patrons are likely to browse for videogames in the collection. When allowing patrons to place holds on videogames, there may be an increase in online browsing for videogames through an OPAC or other online resource. If a holds list builds on a videogame, patrons may not see that game on the shelves for a significant period of time.

By disallowing patrons to place holds on videogames, there may be an increase in physical browsing as more games will be available on the library’s shelves at any one time. Also consider that patrons may desire additional time with a videogame, particularly a game that takes a longer amount of time to play.




Discussion What Makes a Good Game

by Abby Johnson on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 05:45 pm

What Makes a Good Game 
Regardless of genre, there are qualities common to all games that makes them a “good game.”  James Paul Gee gives several guidelines in his work, Good Games and Good Learning (2007):

What Makes a Good Game 
Regardless of genre, there are qualities common to all games that makes them a “good game.”  James Paul Gee gives several guidelines in his work, Good Games and Good Learning (2007):

  1. Identity: "Good video games capture players through identity.”  Users see this best Nintendo’s Wii system, which allows players to make a “Mii,” a highly customizable avatar that physically resembles the player.  
  2. Interaction: "In a good game, words and deeds are all placed in the context of an interactive relationship between the player and the world.”  Users see this best in role playing games (RPGs) and adventure games.
  3. Production: Closely related to interaction, a good game will allow the consumer (the player) to act as producer, developing the story- and the player’s story within that narrative - on their own.  A good print parallel is the “Choose Your Own Adventure” books popular in the 1980s (which, incidentally, are making a comeback).  
  4. Risk taking: "Good video games lower the consequences of failure... players are thereby encouraged to take risks."  A good game is challenging and keeps the player intrigued, but not so difficult that the player feels ineffective against the game, thereby losing interest.  
  5. Customization: Can select/experiment with different learning styles/playing styles.  Good games have different levels based on the player’s skill level - beginner, intermediate and advanced.  
  6. Well-ordered problems: "In good video games, the problems players face are ordered so that the earlier ones are well built to lead players to form hypotheses that work well for later, harder problems."  Here lies the best example of videogames as a learning tool. A good game will strengthen a player’s problem solving skills, allowing them to apply logic in new ways to advance levels.  
  7. Challenge & consolidation: "Good games offer players a set of challenging problems and then let them solve these problems until their solutions are virtually automatic." Often called the "cycle of expertise," this is another good argument for videogames as a learning tool.  Through challenge, players build logical reasoning and comprehension skills until the challenge becomes next to automatic.
  8. Just-in-time & on demand: Unlike textbooks, where all the information is presented at one time, games unfurl their information needs when they are necessary.  For example, a player in an RPG does not find out he needs a special key for the stone door in Level 5 until he gets to Level 5 - not at the start of Level 1.  The knowledge about this key may build throughout the game in a methodical manner (remember, another quality of a good game is well-ordered problem solving) but it is not presented at the start of the game.  

What ultimately makes a game "good" for the library is how well that game fulfills the library's mission for its gaming program.



Gee, J. P. (2007). Good video games + good learning : Collected essays on video games, learning, and literacy. New York: P. Lang.




Discussion Team G Mailing List and Contact Form

by Nicole Pagowsky on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 08:57 am

Discussion Team G Bios

by Nicole Pagowsky on Wed, Jun 22, 2011 at 08:56 am

Contact all of us here, or individually:

(Team G bios in alpha order)

**Click to read more for best viewing

Erik Bobilin

Contact all of us here, or individually:

(Team G bios in alpha order)

**Click to read more for best viewing

Erik Bobilin

Erik Bobilin self-identifies as itinerantly southern, with formative years spent in Florida (birth), Alabama (adolescence) and Georgia (young adulthood), before eventually breaking for the bright lights of Brooklyn (actualization).  He under-graduated from Florida State University in 2004 after having split time between Biology, English/Literature and WVFS Tallahassee.  He migrated next to Athens, GA with the initial intention of forming a Field Mice cover band while pursuing a Master's degree in journalism.  In 2005, his passions realigned in the pursuit of a digital libraries track at the University of South Carolina's School of Library and Information Science and after several fond years of concert attendance and  genealogical research with the Athens-Clarke County Library, he packed up his MLIS and departed for points north.  He now lives, works and swims in Brooklyn, NY.
Erik is Library Information Supervisor of the Kensington Branch of Brooklyn Public Library and the founder of the Last Hire/First Fire Activist Council and Breakfast Club (LHFFACBC).  He maintains an increasingly friendly relationship with the internet, via twitter and the social network.  Please contact Erik.
[Erik's ALA Connect Profile]

Abby Johnson

Abby Johnson graduated from Indiana University Bloomington's School of Library and Information Science with her MLS in 2006 and earned her Bachelor's of Arts in Psychology from Indiana University Bloomington in 2004. Abby worked as a Youth Services Librarian in Barrington, IL before accepting her current position as Children's & Outreach Services Manager at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library in 2009. She is an active member of the Indiana Library Federation, ALSC, and YALSA.  She currently serves on the Indiana Library Federation District 6 Conference Planning Committee, the Young Hoosier Book Award Committee, and the AASL/ALSC/YALSA Committee on School/Public Library Cooperation. Abby has written the blog abbythelibrarian.com since 2007 and is a regular contributor to the ALSC Blog. You can contact Abby at amjohnson@gmail.com and you can find her on Twitter as @abbylibrarian.

[Abby's ALA Connect profile]

Kate Kosturski

Kate Kosturski graduated from Pratt Institute's School of Information and Library Science ("Pratt-SILS") in 2010, and received her B.A. in Government/Public Administration from York College of Pennsylvania in 2000. Ms. Kosturski is an Outreach Specialist in JSTOR's Outreach and Participation Services department in New York City, managing all aspects of JSTOR and Portico services for participating institution worldwide. At Pratt, she served as Treasurer and President of Pratt-SILS' student ALA chapter, and assisted courses in information technologies and collection development.  She has spoken and presented on emerging technologies at InfoCamp Seattle, ACRL, and Pratt-SILS' Instructional Technology courses, and has extensive knowledge on information literacy, government information, reference services, and marketing and advocacy. Within ALA, Kate is active in LITA, ACRL, GODORT, NMRT, and RUSA, and will be co-chairing a RUSA Structure Taskforce with 2010 RUSA Emerging Leader Ed Garcia.  Ms. Kosturski is a member of Beta Phi Mu, Alpha Chi, and Pi Sigma Alpha national honor societies, and active within the American Society for Information Science and Technology (ASIST), acting as membership chair for the newly formed ASIST-Metro NY chapter, and the Leadership Committee of the parent organization.  You can contact Kate at catherine.kosturski@gmail.com or librariankate7578@gmail.com.  She blogs at The Librarian Kate, and you can find her on Twitter as @librarian_kate.

[Kate's ALA Connect profile]

Jonathan Lu

Jonathan Lu is currently the Adult Services Librarian at the Bartow County Library System in sunny Georgia. He got his MLIS from the UPitt in 2005. He also holds a B.S. in International Affairs from GaTech.  He runs all the gaming tournaments at the library. Since 2008, he’s been the director of Animecon, an annual library anime convention hosted by the Bartow County Library. You can contact Jonathan at Jonathan@bartowlibrary.org.

[Jonathan's ALA Connect profile]

Nicole Pagowsky

Nicole Pagowsky is a Librarian III (reference, instruction, collection development) for Dallas County Community College District. Prior to accepting her current position, she was an Outreach Information Specialist for the University of Arizona Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center. She graduated from the School of Information Resources and Library Science program at the University Arizona in 2009, and earned her Bachelor's degree in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 2005. Nicole has been volunteering with Radical Reference since 2007, and is also the creator/curator of Librarian Wardrobe. Other interests include outreach, emerging technologies, instruction, user experience design, and LIS student & early-career issues. In a former life, she was a radio DJ for 6 years, a community organizer, and co-owned a small book/record distro. Read her blog, The Pumped Librarian, or connect with her on Twitter: @pumpedlibrarian.

[Nicole's ALA Connect profile]


Discussion Bibliography

by Abby Johnson on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 07:04 pm


Andersen, M. (2011, April 13). Playing to learn? [Prezi presentation]. Retrieved April 15, 2011, from http://prezi.com/_b-gw3u8xl/‌playing-to-learn/

Berger, A. A. (2002). Video games: A popular culture phenomenon. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction.

Bissell, T. (2010). Extra lives: Why video games matter. New York: Pantheon Books.

Bogost, I. (2007). Persuasive games: The expressive power of videogames. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Borawski, C., Anduri, L., Arthur, N., Creger, A., Debrick, B., Walton-Hadlock, M., . . . Kaplan, A. (2009, Spring). Going for games: What libraries, and kids, can learn about gaming. Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 7(1), 48-50.

Czarnecki, K. N. (2010). Gaming in lbraries. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishing, Inc.

DeMaria, R. (2008). Reset: Changing the way we look at video games. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Farmer, S. (2010, November/). Gaming 2.0. American Libraries, 41(11/‌), 32-34.

Gallaway, B. (2009). Game on! : Gaming at the library. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers.

Gee, J. P. (2003). What video games have to teach us about learning and literacy. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Gee, J. P. (2007). Good video games + good learning : Collected essays on video games, learning, and literacy. New York: P. Lang.

Goldberg, H. (2011). All your base are belong to us: How 50 years of videogames conquered pop culture. New York: Three Rivers Press.

Grand theft education. (2006, September). Harper’s Magazine, 313(1876), 30-39.

Helmrich, E. V., & Neiburger, E. (2005, January 1). Video games as a service: Hosting tournaments at your library. Voice of Youth Advocates: Voya, 27(6), 450-453.

Helmrich, E. V., & Neiburger, E. (2007, January 1). Video games as a service: Three years later. Voice of Youth Advocates: Voya, 30(2), 113-115.

Higgin, T. (2011, March). Videogames as critical race pedagogy: Education beyond edugames [Web log post]. Retrieved from Gaming the system: http://www.tannerhiggin.com/‌/‌/as-critical-race-pedagogy/

Koster, R. (2005). A theory of fun for game design. Scottsdale, AZ: Paraglyph Press.

Lamb, A., & Johnson, L. (2010, June). Divergent convergence part 1: Cross-genre, multi-platform, transmedia experiences in school libraries. Teacher Librarian, 37(5), 76-81.

Laskowski, M., & Ward, D. (2009, May). Building next generation video game collections in academic libraries. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 35(3), 267-273.

Levine, J. (2006, September/). Academic libraries. Library Technology Reports, 42(5), 38-44.

Mastel, K., & Huston, D. (2009, March). Using video games to teach game design: A gaming collection for libraries. Computers in Libraries, 29(3), 41-44.

Mayer, B., & Harris, C. (2010). Libraries got game : Aligned learning through modern board games. Chicago: American Library Association.

McCann, S. (2008, November 15). Not just for boys anymore. Library Journal, 133(19), 51.

McGonigal, J. (2011). Reality is broken : Why games make us better and how they can change the world. New York: Penguin Press.

Media minder -- Building a video game collection: Resources to help you get started. (2008, November). Against the Grain, 20(5), 80-82.

Neiburger, E. (2007). Gamers-- in the library?! : The why, what, and how of videogame tournaments for all ages. Chicago: American Library Association.

Nicholson, S. (2010). Everyone plays at the library: Creating great gaming experiences for all ages. Medford, NJ: Information Today.

Oakley, T. (2008, April). Circulating video games. School Library Journal, 54(4), 30-32.

Osborne, V. (2008, December). Engaging kids where the kids are at: The Eltham Library project. APLIS, 21(4), 178-181.

OuyangDan. (2011, March 9). The games we play [Web log post]. Retrieved from Bitch Magazine blogs: http://bitchmagazine.org//‌the-games-we-play

Pierce, J. B. (2009, April). It’s not all fun and games. American Libraries, 40(4), 61.

Prensky, M. (2006). “Don’t bother me Mom, I’m learning!”: How computer and video games are preparing your kids for twenty-first century success and how you can help!. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House.

Revkin, A. C. (2011, February 5). Dot Earth: The man behind Spore explains gaming as learning [Editorial]. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/‌/‌/‌/‌the-man-behind-spore-explores-gaming-as-learning/

Rosenbloom, S. (2011, April 22). It’s love at first kill. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/‌/‌/‌//‌avatar.html

Snow, C. E. (2010). Playing with history: A look at video games, world history, and libraries. Community & Junior College Libraries, 16(2), 128-135.

Steinberg, S. (2011, January 31). How video games can make you smarter. CNN. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/‌//.gadgets/‌/‌/.games.smarter.steinberg/

Tappeiner, E., & Lyons, C. (2008). Selection criteria for academic video game collections. Collection Building, 27(3), 121-125.

Wethern, S. (2009, December 16). A look at public library video game collections. Retrieved February 3, 2011, from School Library Journal website: http://www.schoollibraryjournal.com//.html

Whalen, Z., & Taylor, L. N. (Eds.). (2008). Playing the past: History and nostalgia in video games. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press.

Wieder, B. (2011, April 24). Video-game rooms become the new library space invaders. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com//Game-Rooms-Become-the/‌/‌?sid=at&utm_source=at&utm_medium=en

Young, J. (2011, March 13). As technology evolves, new forms of online racism emerge. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved from http://chronicle.com///technology-evolves-new-forms-of-online-racism-emerge/‌




Discussion Core Genres to Collect

by Abby Johnson on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 07:03 pm

Core Genres to Collect 

Core Genres to Collect 

The fluid nature of the videogame industry renders any core genre list outdated very quickly, thus making any list extremely difficult to compile. As a result, we concentrate on offering a genre-level list of core games, with the caution to always remain flexible in offerings.  We focus on the following five genres: Social, Narrative, Action, Knowledge, and Strategy.

Social : Games that require some degree of socialization.

o   Party games: Games that require two or more players.

  •  Wii: Mario Party, Super Monkey Balls, Rayman Raving Ribbids
  • PS3: Little Big Planet, Lemmings,
  • XBOX 360: Portal

o   Strategy games: Games with an emphasis on problem solving.

  •  Wii: Battalion Wars 2, Pikmin 2
  • PS3: Record of Agarest War
  • XBOX 360: Command and Conquer, Civilization Revolution

Narrative: Games that have a storyline and requires a player to embody a character in context.

o   Role-Playing Games (RPGs): Games that uses character development as the main part of the game. It can be turned based or real-time action based combat. A key part of the RPG is for the character to increase the inventory, wealth, or statistics of the character during the progression of the game.

  •  Wii: Tales of Symphonia
  • PS3: Final Fantasy, Fallout, Dragon Age, Elder Scroll
  • XBOX 360: Fable III, Dungeon Siege, Mass Effect

Action: Games that require movement, quick thinking, and reflexes.

o   Rhythm games: Game play uses music as timing.

  •  Guitar Hero, Rock Band, Dance Dance Revolution

o   Wii, Kinect, Move  games: Games that are especially designed to use the new system.

  •  Wii: Wii Sports, Wii Play, Wii Sports Resort
  • PS3: Sports Champions
  • XBOX 360: Kinect Sports, Forza Motorsports 4

o   Sports games: Any game involving sports.

  •  Any EA Sports title

o   Fighting games: Classic hand to hand combat games.

  •  Street Fighter, Mortal Combat, Marvel vs. Capcom

o   Shooter games: These can be from a 1st person or 3rd person perspective.

  •  Call of Duty, Halo, Medal of Honor

o   Adventure: Games that feature a story, usually driven by the character and the game environment.

  •   Wii: Lego, Broken Sword, Sonic, Mario, Zelda
  • PS3: Grand Theft Auto, Uncharted
  • XBOX 360: LA Noire, Transformers, Lara Croft

Knowledge: Games that make knowledge fun (i.e. trivia, game shows, etc.)

  •  Mario Party, Sim City, Family Feud

Strategy: Games that require a player to make decisions (e.g. area control, trading, role selection, worker placement, tile placement, route planning, etc.) to affect the outcome of the game.

  •  Yugi-Oh, Pokemon, Command and Conquer, Civilizations, Poker




Discussion Cataloging

by Abby Johnson on Mon, Jun 20, 2011 at 07:03 pm



Due to the relative recent entry of videogames in libraries, there’s no real standard on the amount of information required in the catalog record. Records range from a simple place entry to a full OCLC standard entry. This extreme difference of standards reflects the size of the collections, the size of the library, and the recent entry of the medium. An OCLC standard MARC entry is dependent on the popularity of the game. A popular, newly released game will generally have a standard catalog record available for copy cataloging within 2 to 3 weeks. However, an old, out of print, or obscure game would require original cataloging.

While many library vendors provide cataloging and processing for books, these services are not yet available for videogames, as few vendors provide videogames. As this changes and vendors add videogames to their product offerings, processing and cataloging will be part of basic services.  

At minimum, a videogame catalog entry should contain the following information:

  • Title of the video game
  • What gaming system does the game belong to?
  • Publish year/publisher
  • Rating
  • How many players?
  • Does it have online multiplayer capability?
  • Synopsis of the game
  • Any special equipment needed. (ie. Kinect, Wii Motion Plus)
  • Product descriptions
  • Price

Many game developers have valid concerns that cataloging records for their games remain incomplete, particularly with the omission of the developer studio (entity that programs/writes the game).  Essentially, this is the “author” of the game and often not one of the gaming community’s “Big Three” (Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft).  These third party developers often do not get credit in the cataloging record; often just the publisher and the writer receive mention. It often takes a village to create a video game, and those that handle back-end work may one day become famous in their own right (thus necessitating the need for their names to be metadata for the game).  When official descriptors for video games are not available, computer gaming descriptors will suffice.

In addition to the game developer studio, other secondary fields that should be on the record are:

  • Director
  • Art Director
  • Program Director
  • Voice Actors

The International Game Developers Association (IGDA) offers guidance on their website (http://www.igda.org/credit-statement) for proper crediting of personnel.  Often, this information is not on the site.  Catalogers can consult Moby Games (http://www.mobygames.com), the Internet Movie Database of the gaming industry, for missing information.

Other schemas catalogers can use include Categories for the Description of Works of Art (CDWA) (often used for online and downloadable games), and Dublin Core (used in board games along with MARC).

Some public and academic libraries also catalog their video gaming consoles for circulation. At minimum, a console catalog entry should contain the following:

  • The video game system
  • Items within the bundle that would be checked out (i.e. controllers, cords, etc.)
  • Price





Project Description

This project will develop a comprehensive set of resources surrounding the issue of collection development for video games and gaming in libraries.

The project team will produce a model video game collection development policy to be used by librarians wanting to create their own institution-specific policies.

This policy will have to fit traditional models of collection development, which will be achieved through a thorough amount of research on the trends and issues surrounding "library collections", and will have to take into account factors such as library budget, controversial content, and intended audience.

During this research process, the team will also compile a set of supporting documents and resources on this topic, develop a current "core collection" for all major game consoles, compile and post a "suggestions and best-practices" list for implementing library programs based around game collections, and post a series of suggestions for connecting these new collections to current, traditional library collections.

The resulting policy and resources will be made available on the Games and Gaming MIG Wiki, which will have a new section entirely developed by this project group dedicated to Game Collection Development.

The goal is create a collection development standard for libraries who are looking to create, develop, or expand their collection offerings in this new media.

Expected Outcomes

  • Development of a model video game collection development policy.
  • Development of sample video game MARC records for Academic, Public, and K-12 library implementation.
  • Development of a suggested "core collection" of games for major gaming consoles.
  • Creation and/or aggregation of additional collection development resources, compiled to support the policy and bibliographic records.
  • Creation of a completely new section dedicated to Collection Development on the Games & Gaming MIG Wiki.
  • Produce a scalable model for future expansion of this topic into other facets of gaming, including board game collection development and game programming in libraries.
Subscribe to 2011 Emerging Leaders Project G (Video Game Collection Development) [Community]