There’s always tons of discussions on gaming as entertainment and usually a lot on the issue of violence in games. Every game has it to some degree, no matter how indiscernible, but most notably discussion focuses on video games. When Grand Theft Auto came out people were upset over shooting cops, running over people, and buffing health by having sex with a prostitute. If you look back far enough I’m sure people were upset that Pac-man ate the dots.
However, games are more than simple entertainment. They in fact are great educational tools, even the US military uses FPS and air simulators to train its troops, and much more. Libraries have embraced games as a way to bring teens and children into the library. This exposes teens to the games they love and much more. They can learn how to program games of their own, read fiction similar to the game, watch films and listen to movies that inspired the games. Most importantly, they can use these games as a way to interact with others their age and form bonds they may otherwise not form.
The Nintendo Wii is a prime example of gaming as a community experience. Wii Sports, which ships with the game, is geared as a group activity. In the Youtube Vid below, created by friend and librarian Beth, librarians are experiencing Wii Boxing so they can operate it for teens in their own libraries.
Next time you think video games are just for children think of this vid.