PS3 Launch Night Interviews

Tonight I went out and talked with the people in line at both Best Buy and Target. Best Buy had about 26 people in line and they stated they were told the store had 27 PS3. They were fun to talk with, most had tents, and even a few were running power cables out of their cars. I saw a few of my students at Best Buy. I think they were surprised to see me, but we had a good conversation. Target had about 12 people in line, but they were not sure if the store had 8 or 12 PS3s. All in all I interviewed 6 people and got some useful information.

I had some survey questions I wanted to test out and cold gamers, waiting in line in the dark is a captive audience. asked the people questions about what they are were planning on doing with their PS3 (of all the people in both lines (38), only 2 said they were planning on selling it. I asked a few questions on what systems they owned and why they play. I was surprised by the number of systems people have from the last two generations. There was a wide range of responses to why they game, and many cited playing old N64 games as a fun social interaction.

The two questions I was directly interested in and that I believe relate to education and research were:
1) What makes you a good gamer?
2) What do you do when you are stuck in a game?
Both I think parallel how people respond and act during the research process, at least that is my hypothesis.

1)"Lots and lots of practice." Practice was the response from all six people interviewed. In games, as in the research process there is not a quick fix and one path that always works. Through practice and experience we are able to navigate that path more efficiently. Heck, as librarians, we don't always know the quickest search with the most relevant entries. It is only through our practice that we can come close and adapt to find what is needed.

2) "It's not fun if you don't try it for as long as you can without doing it."
"I don't like cheating in a game unless I tried everything." The personal determination is wonderful. If only our content to hold their interest as long (it can if we try, hence that's why I'm here). I see this mentality at the reference desk quite often. We are their last place to go when they are stuck. Is this mentality used in research as well? They want to try and figure it out and any help is "cheating?" If it is that latter, then we need to market ourselves differently. As the controversial Stanley Wilder said at the 2005 ACRL National Conference, we should be their first stop not their last.

"If it's driving me absolutely insane... maybe I might ask for help." I don't want reference to be seen as that, and I hope it isn't but it is a challenge if there is the mentality that they should be able to get it and coming for help admits defeat.

Another person said that there was nothing worse than watching someone breeze through a particular hard section of a game easily. Is this the feeling we give off if we breeze through a reference transaction? I've always thought there is value in struggling at reference. There is always the potential to struggle regardless of job title.

Overall it was a good start to developing my survey and gave me a bunch to think about.

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