Post #5 -History of Online Gaming

Okay, I’ll admit… I’ve been dreading the internet history posting. I blame it on tech-speak. Not that the articles we read for class are so bad. I just get a bad case of MEGO (my eyes glaze over (thank you Marjorie Bloss, Cataloging Professor extraordinare)) when I see acronyms.

I’m thinking it must be a syndrome… you know, IRAD (Inability to Read Acronyms Disorder).

Anyhow, in order to overcome my hesitation, I decided to focus on an area of the internet that I am very familiar with: online gaming. This article from Wikipedia does a great job of highlighting the history of MMORPGs in a very readable way. Their article on the history online gaming in general was a bit harder to digest.

It seems that wherever there are two gamers, there will be a game. And wherever there are gamers separated by a distance, they will create a way to game. Most of the early games were text-based (:turn left) and played over university networks. As the internet expanded, so did the games. Even without specific software, gamers find ways to game. I remember a friend running a traditional RPG in an AOL chat room in the mid-90s. We even had a little program to roll dice for us. Now, of course, there are 10 million gamers playing World of Warcraft and even console games like Final Fantasy XI connect users around the world.

How does all of this connect to libraries? To paraphrase Jenny Levine, if gamers are going to game, why don’t we have them game while surrounded by books. Gaming programs at libraries have become a popular way to attract users that would normally never darken the library door. Traditionally, these programs have focused on console games like DDR and Guitar Hero. Some libraries are begining to offer programs featuring online games as well. Recently Aurora Public Library (that’s in Colorado, folks, not west of Chicago) held a Runescape tournament for Teen Tech week.

I don’t know about your libraries, but we already have unoffical runescape tournaments going on every day after school. Why not tap into that energy to create a fun program that may attract a different sort of library user?

Just a thought,



1 Comment

  1. walker1213 said,

    March 28, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    I’m pretty much a console-only gamer, but MMORPGs are really popular. I think it’s a great way to get people into the library. Are there librarian type characters in WoW? Haha. I think hosting traditional table top RPG nights at libraries would be fun too (even though I don’t understand those things – I just like hitting X to attack until things are dead!!)

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