November 1, 2007
Game On at the Undergraduate Library
While gaming in libraries has become an increasingly hot topic in the library field over the past year, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library's Gaming Initiative has been bringing together gamers, gaming researchers, and gaming collections for almost 2 years. One of the signature annual events sponsored as part of the Gaming Initiative is Gaming Night.
The Gaming Collection was launched during Spring 2006 as a response to interest from students as well as faculty researchers and instructors, who began a game research discussion list the year before. The collection includes all major current consoles and handheld platforms and is complemented by a growing set of public services to assist users with the collections and the integration of gaming in courses.
Gaming Night also began in Spring 2006 to advertise the birth of the collection and connect with faculty and student gamers and game researchers. That game night included a DDR competition and open gaming (the later has become a staple of all gaming nights as has Mountain Dew). Campus gaming groups were specifically invited and the Video Gamers Alliance took up a donation of vintage games and consoles for the Undergraduate Library, which holds the core of our vintage gaming historical collection.
The Fall 2006 gaming night was the first to feature a guest speaker, Dmitri Williams, formerly of the UIUC Speech Communications department and an expert on gaming research and literature. He held a 45 minute Q + A with students covering legal, economic, social, and other issues involved with gaming. This event also featured a contest and open gaming.
The upcoming November 3rd event is co-sponsored by the Undergraduate Library and the Sousa Archive and Center for American Music and is part of the celebration of American Music Month. The evening will focus on music in gaming and will include speakers from the Department of Music as well as industry experts from Volition, a growing gaming company in Champaign. The event will also introduce a game created by campus researchers (Musiverse).
Gaming at the library - come to play, come to learn. Game On!