The mysterious but always outspoken (and often controversial) Annoyed Librarian strikes again, this time dishing out her annoyance at video games as becoming part of the library school curriculum and their usage in libraries. She quotes The Shifted Librarian describing a gaming course offered by Dr. Michael Stephens. Both Stephens and Shifted are proponents of gaming in library school and libraries. The latter, Stephens, whom the Annoyed Librarian affectionately calls the Webtamer (or Dr. Webtamer, since earning his Ph.D), is the prolific blogger/librarian behind the Tame the Web blog, which regularly promotes the use of gaming and social networking technologies in libraries to encourage community involvement.
Taken with a grain of satirical salt, the Annoyed Librarian argues that library school, already in many respects an “intellectual joke,” as she call it, will become more so if it embraces video gaming as the new education model. And the people promoting these activities, those “twopointopians,” should continue doing so on their blogs, even though they are probably too busy playing video games or social networking.
For the record, I like Michael Stephens, aka Dr. Webtamer, at least the parts of his professional life that he blogs and photographs. And in some ways, I envy his stature in the library field. He travels extensively and gives presentations across the United States, talking about stuff he loves. His excitement is tangible; he truly loves his profession. He’s excited about his work and how all those little gadgets and social networking technologies impact his work and life – and how they can do the same for library schools and libraries.
There are other bloggers/librarians whose day jobs, it seems, are filled with nothing but Second Life, iPods, and Guitar Hero. Although their jobs do not reflect reality, my reality at least, I nonetheless cannot fault them for being so joyful.
I hope they realize how very fortunate they are—how very fortunate--for many us in this field toil in obscurity.
Also for the record, I like the Annoyed Librarian as well. I believe she is a collective of annoyed librarians, and someone in the group is the editor. How can one person be so prolific and still have time to do their day job? In any case, the Annoyed Librarian remains one of the few blogs in the blogosphere that, with wit and satire, nails the foibles of library school so succinctly. It has acted as a personal balm on many occasions.
In regards to video games and gaming, I blogged about video games in the corporate world a few blog posts ago. Citing a BBC news article--and with tongue firmly pressed in check--I figured, what the heck: If video games are the collaboration model for many young adults entering the workforce, then the workforce should adopt video games as the means to get its young employees to collaborate and get the work done. I even figured I best dust off my old 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) to prepare myself. Remember that one, folks, the NES?
Then I read a blog post from our Chief Information Officer, which stunned me, quite frankly. (Sorry, folks, his blog is behind a firewall.) Essentially, he argues that we, our institution, should have a presence in the virtual world Second Life. I had to re-read his post twice just in case I misread his comments. But it’s true: He firmly believes in virtual spaces such as Second Life as a viable and business valuable strategy. Cool, but...
On the one hand, I can appreciate the case Stephens, Shifted and our CIO present. The collaborative space, influenced by videogames, is an emerging platform where people come together and, bound by common goals, work together in the virtual space to achieve said common goals. But on the other hand, I wonder if all this virtual/collaborative space is nothing but another layer of unnecessary work and extra steps to attain information, knowledge, or getting the job done. It’s fun, sure, but is it necessary?
Don't get me wrong: I love a good game of Half-Life 2 as much as the next guy. But what does a first-person shooter--or twanging a guitar controller--have in common with information delivery?
about the author
- David Kemper
- I am an information professional, researcher, and writer with over eight years experience in the information services field with experience in information and communication technology.
I have a B.A. in History and a Master's in Library and Information Studies and working on a Web and Multimedia Design certificate.
I believe that empowering people with information can enrich lives and transform the world.