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The PLA Blog | Official Blog of the Public Library Association

Name That Tune

Can you name this tune?

100% of students surveyed at Harvard University recognize the theme song to the Super Mario Brothers video game by Nintendo, released in1985. What does this tell you about the correlations between video games, learning and intellengence? More importantly, what are the implications for libraries?

Friday afternoon I attended a fantastic OCLC Symposium: Gaming and the Signiifcation for Information Literacy Learning. Did you know:

  • Gaming is the medium of choice for the millenials (generation born in 1978 or later)
  • The Sims game is a 1.5 BILLION dollar industry. 55% of the players are women.
  • This summer the sales Halo 2 beat the Spider-man 2 box office figures
  • Lineage a Korean MMOG, has 4 million players.
  • Gamers who play Ultima online logged in a total of 160 million hours last year
  • 80% of people born after 1970 have played a video game and belong to the “Gamer Generation,” while only 34% of baby boomers born after 1970 have played a video game
  • There will be an estimated 126 million online gamers by 2008
  • 10% of 2-6 year olds have gaming consoles (like Playstation or Nintendo) in their bedrooms.
  • When the Santa Monica Public Library held a LAN party (linked 30 computers together so kids playing the game Counterstrike could play against one another), over 60 teens lined up outside the library an hour before the program began, eager to play

I’ll leave you with that to whet your appetites. This program blew my mind, and I will be posting more notes later.

The presentation, which featured author Dr. John Beck, author of Got Game: How the Gamer Generation is Reshaping Business Forever also included Marilyn Mason, program director for WebJunction, a joint project funded by OCLC and the Gates Foundation, Migell Acosta from the Santa Monica Public Library, Kurt Squire, Assistant Professor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Constance Steinkuehler a researcher interested in cognition and learning, also from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. OCLC was filming the symposium, hopefully for later webcast.