[Five Deadly Everythings]

What the frak is a library?

Posted in books, gaming, reading is dead by Jef on March 30, 2010

Toronto’s libraries are embracing the idea of loaning out video games in an effort to lure kids in and then slip them book roofies. Or something like that:

“It may be the only time a young person comes in. It can act as a magnet to attract people,” said city Councillor Adam Vaughan, who sits on the library’s board.

“Once we get them in there, you can be darn sure that our librarians will be hard at work to introduce them to everything else the library can offer.”

I’m skeptical. But hey, I never thought video games would get fat parents doing yoga and shadow-boxing either, but Wii happened. Extrapolating from that, it’s maybe not a matter of using games as a gateway to books, but incorporating reading with games in a way that makes sense. My bets are on Nintendo — not only did they devise the Wii system that got us off the couch, they already flirted with the idea with the reading-heavy book-ish game Hotel Dusk for the Nintendo DS, which was pretty damn enjoyable and ate up some of my subway reading time a couple of years ago.

In related bloggery, Abe Sauer collected bits of recent news stories on libraries in America. The picture ain’t pretty.

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