GLLS2007: The Payoff, Up Close and Personal

Eli Neiburger – The Payoff, Up Close and Personal

Eli’s presentation was very focused on what and how public libraries can do to host console gaming tournaments in libraries. His presentation itself, his style and demeanor, was wonderful and very fun. He will be well received as he makes the rounds of the library conference circuit. In addition, his presentation slides used a great, retro arcade font, which was fun.

Eli makes the great point for both public, school, and academic libraries, that gaming in libraries serves everyone. Traditionally, libraries that are book focused do provide what all people need. Public libraries are not just for serving those who only want books. Public libraries can and should speak to people at all stages of life… and even if they are not at a recreational reading stage in life now, they may be there someday.

Eli showed how the tournaments bring in both kids and parents. The tournaments resulted in a variety of positive interactions:

  • Teens take mentor roles
  • Brings in new users
  • Breaks social barriers (gender, race, class)
  • Results in positive social interactions between kids and librarians

Eli hit on the detail and knowledge that playing and succeeding at Pokemon requires a large investment and learning ability from players. I agree with Eli’s advocacy of Pokemon as beneficial for kids and it fits with a post of mine from January.

The announcement of the upcoming launch (July 2008) of GT Systems ( video game tournament software was exciting and seems like there is a lot of potential.