Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

cancel ×

82 comments

little late (3, Informative)

Captain Rotundo (165816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814507)

My local library has carried video games since my C64 days.

Re:little late (1)

LudicrousSpeed (707743) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814975)

I haven't been a member of my current library too long (about 3 years), but they've held PC games there for that entire time. The biggest problem is the condition of the CD's. Just like with music CD's, PC CD's at libraries are TERRIBLY mistreated. Until a more durable disc is used for production CD/DVD's such as TDK's "armor plated" discs (http://www.tdk.com/recmedia/dvd/index.html [tdk.com] ), providing console games is a waste of time.

Re:little late (1)

Meagermanx (768421) | more than 9 years ago | (#11823195)

My library has all the crappy games. We have racing games, flight sims, business sims, and The Sims, but nothing violent, and everything's for the PC. They set up a PS2 during Spring Break, though, with NFS and some NBA game, and have a gaming computer set up in the YA room. One of the other libraries (which is closer to me) used to have people playing Starcraft on one of its PCs all the time. Literaly. A bunch of the bad, angry dropout kids started to hang around, just to play Starcraft. And, of course, we get the usual amount of Runescapers.

Re:little late (1)

DLWormwood (154934) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814995)

My local library has carried video games since my C64 days.

No kidding. When I was a teenager, my library had Atari 2600 games and just started to shelf NES games as well.

Sadly, the library had to stop there due to excessive "shrinkage." The local school system repartitioned the grades and started to send younger students to "higher" schools, eventually crowding 9th Grade into a high school only set-up for 10th-12th. This had an unfortunate side effect of slowing the emotional and social development of the teens in the school system. In the following years, gang behavior and shoplifting increased in town. It got so bad that the library also had to shut down it's computer room to underage patrons and remove most of the PC software from the shelves as well.

This is actually a common problem for libraries and a contributing issue to why many people regard the institution as "quaint" or "behind the times." Anytime a library tries to adopt a popular or trendy form of media, theft and abuse follows. Most libraries I've been to of late with A/V departments now have to install doors sensors like retail stores and have changed library cards to look like state IDs or driver's licenses.

Librarians want libraries to be more popular, but popularity has a price...

In other news (3, Insightful)

tod_miller (792541) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814523)

Library card applications have gone through the roof!

I think it is a good idea... because as an adult I do not feel particularly good about reading a novel... I know I am wasting my time, there is nothing more noble about reading a Pratchett or seeing a movie, or playing a computer game.

Plus it'll cut the cost for kids, and let them choose more. I say good.

Re:In other news (1)

joeljkp (254783) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814563)

Besides, it'll get the kids into the library in the first place.

I wonder if this will be console only, or if it's PC too. I wouldn't mind taking out a PC game from my local branch...

Re:In other news (2, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814694)

Choices are funny things.

If given a choice of playing video games or doing just about anything else, my kids will of course play video games. If there were no computer games at the library, it would probably still be their favorite place on earth, but if the computers are free they'll make a beeline for them and play until the librarian kicks them off.

But interestingly, I don't think they really are happier playing video games, or really have more fun playing video games, than playing ball outside, or reading a book, or drawing a picture. There's someting profound here about human psychology going on, but I can't quite put my finger on it.

Re:In other news (-1, Flamebait)

blahlemon (638963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814852)

That's because real happiness only comes from God. Just my 2 cents.

Troll? (0, Offtopic)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815162)

C'mon moderators. If you don't like somebody's world view, don't mark them troll, just move on.

The essential quality of a troll is insincerity.

Re:Troll? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11815220)

Further proof why the moderation system simply does not work. There's no accountability. We should be able to tell who is moderating based on their own personal world views and be able to quickly remove them from being a moderator since they are abusing it. The problem is that Rob Malda and company run Slashdot so closed and are so unwilling to take criticism that there's no chance for change ever coming....

I fully expect Slashdot not to be around in 2 years.

Re:Troll? (0)

blahlemon (638963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815870)

I would have expected an off topic or an overrated or two but I'm not surprised to receive a troll or the flamebait that I got. I'm free to express my world view, not something I do here very often but I felt this time it was appropriate. They have the right to mod me down. It's not like I haven't had mod points of my own and choose to mod things the way I felt. Others I'm sure disagreed with the choice I made. I'm sure some of them noted their disagreement with metamoderation.

Re:Troll? (1)

kamapuaa (555446) | more than 9 years ago | (#11821032)

If it was a religious discussion I culd understand. But your post brought up religion in a nonsensical way - what does "real happiness comes only from god" have to do with kids rushing to play video games even if they don't particularly enjoy them?

Since Slashdot is full of High-School kids who shriek at the mere mention of religion, and because no real point was being made in your post, it came across as a troll.

Re:Troll? (1)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11820485)


i thought the essential quality of a troll is eliciting a huge reaction.

sometimes i'd like to mark a post troll, but in a positive sense.

Re:Troll? (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11823417)

Not really. If I write a incredibly insightful, thought provoking piece, I hope to get a huge reaction.

Ulitmately, if trolling is defined to be writing something with the hope of getting a reaction, then everybody is a troll. What makes somebody a troll is to write something that is engineered solely for that purpose, not to advance a sincerely held viewpoint.

Re:In other news (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815879)

God is a dingus. Just my 2 cents.

Re:In other news (1)

log0n (18224) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815910)

Oh and most happiness comes from working for that happiness. Not all, but most.

You'd rather work and work and work and then give the credit for all your work (to achieve that happiness) to god once you decide your happy? You're perogative of course, but just seems a bit off to me ;=)

Re:In other news (1)

blahlemon (638963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816011)

I agree that there is a fair amount of satisfaction that comes from work, even happiness. But I've also found that once the work is over the happiness fades but the happiness I get from God exists no matter how long I live and no matter what I go through.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11816059)

Someone who so obviously doesn't know the difference between "your" and "you're" clearly does not have the intellectual capacity to have any type of meaningful discussion about any topic that includes such a concept as God. Stay in school and maybe in ten years you'll be able to form a sentence. [Of course, you will won't be able to have a meaningful discussion.]

Yeah, that's right - you're dumb! I hope you get in a car accident tonight.

Re:In other news (1)

blahlemon (638963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815980)

Wanna bet you won't get modded troll for that comment? lol. At least you've got an opinion, even if I don't agree with it.

Re:In other news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11816641)

Hey man, I happen to agree with you, but come on. Even if you aren't just being an inciteful punk, and you truly believe this, you aren't doing _anyone_ any favors by injecting this stuff into a secular conversation on a secular website. There is a difference between being an apostle and being annoying.

Re:In other news (1)

blahlemon (638963) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817997)

Well, I did it off the cuff knowing it would be modded down so I wasn't too worried, the answer was intended for the parent, not the populace. On the other hand, considering all the bashing of various religious and political groups I see on these boards regularly I don't have a problem with posting my religious beliefs. This is still an open forum and other people aren't ashamed to express themselves, why should I be ashamed?

Not just console games? (4, Insightful)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814591)

I wonder what the legal ramifications of this would be/will be if they do not just limit themselves to console games, but include computer games as well. Even if the games include prohibitive EULAs, if the librarians don't install the software themselves, buth rather provide the physical media (boxes, serials, etc...) it would be a violation of the end-user at best, but not the library. Is this correct?

Re:Not just console games? (1)

uits (792760) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814632)

Somehow I don't see a library trying to use a legal loophole on their end so patrons can illegaly copy games...

Re:Not just console games? (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11820917)

Somehow I don't see a library trying to use a legal loophole on their end so patrons can illegaly copy games...

No more so than libraries using a loophole so patrons can illegally copy CDs and VHS tapes (both of which are widely available in libraries). In fact, given a typical 30-day loan period many people will finish the game in the period and have reduced incentive to keep a copy, unlike a music CD which you may wish to keep and listen to forever.

Re:Not just console games? (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814750)

To carry out the instructions in the EULA, each patron would have to uninstall the game once the rental period is up. If the next patron were unable to install it due to the CD Key already being in use, the library would have to impose a late penalty on the first patron.

Some games (Worlds of Warcraft, for example) require you to go through customer service channels if you want to use a CD Key that someone has used once before. Blizzard could license out a program that would do the rights management at the library level, but Blizzard in the past hasn't been very open about letting certain validation tasks go outside its walls (see bnetd).

Re:Not just console games? (3, Informative)

John Gaming Target (721410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814857)

Video Game Librarian checking in.

Like I said in the article, CD-ROMs were discontinued at my library last year (about 50-100 were games). Patrons were having problems with used CD Keys and it was just easier to stop the whole thing.

Basically, as long as we put a disclaimer on the package saying the program had to be removed from the patron's computer before it was all kosher with the EULA.

Re:Not just console games? (1)

kenthorvath (225950) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815718)

Basically, as long as we put a disclaimer on the package saying the program had to be removed from the patron's computer before it was all kosher with the EULA.

Is that the case with all EULAs? That is, can a EULA explicitly forbid the transfer of software to another party once installed? In such cases, the first user would be allowed to use the game, but may not even be able to return the box and discs to the library.

I agree that it seems problematic and too much effort for libraries to deploy, but this in itself seems to suggest that EULAs are bad, bad, bad.

Re:Not just console games? (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11828249)

Several local libraries (different municipalities) have software over where I live. No one has console games, though.

Bring me "GTB: Alexandria" (5, Funny)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814662)

Hopefully, they will have on their shelves: "Grand Theft Book: Alexandria" in which you purloin tomes and spend the rest of the game running from and shooting library cops. I don't think you will find it in the children's section.

"You can have this copy of the Necronomicon when you pry it from my cold dead hands, sucka!"

Anyone know what's the cheat code so the topheavy bookmobiles are not as likely to tip over during high speed chases? The only code I know so far is the "Shhhh" mode that gets rid of the sounds.

Re:Bring me "GTB: Alexandria" (1)

spypaparika (858889) | more than 9 years ago | (#11819358)

Hmmmmmmmmm sounds framilar to the GTA myst collaboration

Simpsons Game? (2, Insightful)

pnice (753704) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814726)

From the article: "The second qualifier: no Simpsons games just yet. I don't know why, but that was rule number two."

I'm sorry, but what Simpsons game on the PS2 qualifies as a critical favorite or bestseller? Maybe it was a personal favorite or something he wanted to play but hadn't...glad he isn't picking my local library video game selection.

...but bravo for the library giving the negative to any of the Simpsons games.

Re:Simpsons Game? (1)

chrish (4714) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815193)

The Simpsons: Road Rage [eagames.com] is pretty fun, actually, despite being published by EA.

Re:Simpsons Game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11817198)

The Simpsons: Hit & Run [vugames.com] is generally considered the superior sequel to Road Rage, and I agree. Plus, EA didn't publish it. :) I've got both games on the GameCube, and they really are the best Simpsons games ever made (along with the old beat-em-up).

Re:Simpsons Game? (1)

Headcase88 (828620) | more than 9 years ago | (#11818508)

And don't forget Hit and Run [gametab.com] ... though nothing can compare to the old favourites like Virtual Bart. [gamespot.com]

Of course, on the flipside there was... [gamerankings.com]

News ??? (2, Interesting)

dago (25724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814738)

It's almost 10 years since belgian "mediatheque" (= libraries for music & video) expanded to also features CD ... and at least 7 years for games.

I suppose it's the same in most countries.

Re:News ??? (1)

joshuac (53492) | more than 9 years ago | (#11820406)

In the US, I remember checking out software from the library 20 years ago for the Apple II series. Not a very new concept, but it probably wasn't as common two decades ago as it is now, and the trend is probably increasing.

Backlash? (2, Interesting)

AtariAmarok (451306) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814764)

The threat I see to this, if any, is videogame stores filing frivolous lawsuits about "unfair competition". Or videogame companies saying this encourages piracy. The same thing happened all over the country when video rental places complained about libraries carrying movies.

I guess that the "book library" is such a venerable and beloved institution that Borders, etc won't file frivolous lawsuits against libraries for their competition. It would make them look very very bad. However, the "videogame library" is a newer and odder concept, and might be fair game.

Re:Backlash? (1)

Pluvius (734915) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815598)

I think it far more likely that the video rental industry will have a problem with this, as you just mentioned in the case of movies.

Rob

Re:Backlash? (1)

lessermilton (863868) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815663)

Our libraries just carry (for the most part) lame movies.

Some of them carry music CDs, but I haven't heard about anyone whinging because you can rip MP3s from them.

I'm all for it though - power to the people!

This is what libraries are about (4, Interesting)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814794)

Libraries already carry videos, DVDs and CDs, so this seems to be a logical next step for them. Libraries even used to provide record albums for checking out starting back in the '70's, so they have a long history behind this.

Making all these things available for free is what libraries are about - a resource for those who can't afford it. Not everyone can buy every $30-$50 game that they want. If the libraries are providing educational games, as well as the fun time-wasters, then its a good public service.

Re:This is what libraries are about (1)

Jane_the_Great (778338) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815121)

I disagree. The government does not exist to provide entertainment for the citizens. In my opinion, libraries are a waste of the taxpayers money. Let the citizens determine what books, movies, and video games they want and vote with their own money - not by raising taxes and buying a glut of games that I have no interest in. I am sick and tired of all this.

And you suppose that libraries provide a good service for those who can't otherwise afford such things? I call B.S. Inner-city libraries are not known for being well populated with the lower castes. Libraries are mainly used by the middle class, a class that is shrinking because of the burden of taxes. Thus, libraries are only hurting those who use them. The middle class would be in a better state IF there was no income tax and they could spend a very small percentage of their budget on only the books and media they actually wanted.

In my opinion, not only should video games not be added to a library's collection but the very notion of having libraries should be rethought.

Re:This is what libraries are about (1)

jangobongo (812593) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816066)

The government does not exist to provide entertainment for the citizens. In my opinion, libraries are a waste of the taxpayers money.

The government exists to serve the people. Thus roads get built and are maintained, electricity and water is provided, as well as social aspects like museums, theaters, etc. Things that we as individuals can't afford are paid for via taxes. I'm not saying that there isn't wasteful spending of taxes, but libraries are not exactly "pork barrel" projects.

I live in Mesa, AZ, (third largest city in the state after Phoenix and Tucson) and currently they have cut the library budget so deeply that the city library can't afford to purchase new books and have turned to the public by providing a wish list [mesalibrary.org] for donors who would like to contribute.

And you suppose that libraries provide a good service for those who can't otherwise afford such things?

I know that they do. My family frequently visits the library - almost on a weekly basis. If we had to purchase all the books that we have ever checked out, we could not possibly afford it. Our library also provides a dozen computers with internet access (which are always in use, with waiting lines BTW) for people to use who otherwise would have no access.

Libraries are mainly used by the middle class, a class that is shrinking because of the burden of taxes.

I agree with you about the taxes to a degree, but I think that the bigger problem is that greedy companies and stockholders are demanding high profits above all else (the rich getting richer) while the middle class is expected to make do with the same salary levels as 2-3 years ago and every thing else gets more expensive. Those same companies also expect us in the middle to try to keep up by using "planned obsolescense" and encouraging us to buy, buy, buy, even when we don't really need that new car or new house or new game. This is what is pushing the middle class down to the poorer ranks, IMO.

Re:This is what libraries are about (1)

Jane_the_Great (778338) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816388)

"The government exists to serve the people. Thus roads get built and are maintained, electricity and water is provided, as well as social aspects like museums, theaters, etc. Things that we as individuals can't afford are paid for via taxes. I'm not saying that there isn't wasteful spending of taxes, but libraries are not exactly "pork barrel" projects."
It's pretty clear we have a difference of opinion on the role of government. You're a communist.

Re:This is what libraries are about (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11818553)

If the government does not exist to provide entertainment for citizens then the libraries should remove all non-historical and non-"classic" fiction from their shelves. The fact is that since we live in a Republic (defined as a "representative democracy") even our elections are [very expensive] entertainment. They get good ratings, too.

If we put video games in libraries, maybe lower classes (which are by definition typically more poorly educated) will be motivated to read more simply due to proximity to books.

Libraries are useful. Do you really think that people should have to pay for all that information? We do, of course, in the form of taxes, but providing equal access to information is absolutely necessary to the health of a society. We already have far too much stratification as it is. Closing libraries will make it worse.

Re:This is what libraries are about (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11832385)

How about if I sue them for wasting my tax money?

This bullshit is precisely why I continue to vote "no" every time our libraries whine that they need more money. They invariably turn around and blow it on something ridiculous.

Ah, the study sessions... (3, Funny)

Apparently someone (457360) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814856)

"OK, everyone. Your reports are due a week from Monday. I don't want to have any more two page reports, this time!

"The reports, as you know are limited to MMORPGs. Go get a copy of a 'classic' and I want you to deeply analyze l33tsp34k.

(groans)

"No, no! I don't want to hear any of that... Just get into it and take your time. Make it count. Your grade depends on it..."

Daddy! It's for a report! My grade depends on it! DADDY!

(Obligatory) What I want to know is.... (0, Troll)

LordPhantom (763327) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814951)

.... now that we have video games, when can we get the pr0n? I'd go to the library and never leave!!!

Re:(Obligatory) What I want to know is.... (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815707)

Y'know, that's actually really a pretty interesting question. Suppose you wanted, for acacemic reasons of course, to research pr0n. What institution is there that collections and conserves it?

In fact, this lead me to ask whether libraries even collect slightly "naughty", not even pornographic, magazines. After quickly googling some well know, they apparently don't. Now, Playboy has had, over the years, interviews with and articles by historically important personages. Some of the articles themselves have historical significance (e.g. the Jimmy Carter "Lust in my heart" interview).

Isn't it strange that none of that stuff could found in any library anywhere?

Re:(Obligatory) What I want to know is.... (1)

John Gaming Target (721410) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816045)

Some libraries do in fact carry Playboy.

It is kept behind the desk and must be requested by a patron to be viewed.

Re:(Obligatory) What I want to know is.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11820036)

Y'know, that's actually really a pretty interesting question. Suppose you wanted, for acacemic reasons of course, to research pr0n. What institution is there that collections and conserves it?

That would be me.

other side of coin (2, Insightful)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11814979)

i work in the library software buisness. while talking to our customers, we get asked if things even stranger then video games can be cataloged. i don't find this surprising in the least. libraries, in general, are a public entity. whether they be a public library, a school library, etc, a large portion of the library market is public in some way. yes, there is the occation church library, or private collection, but almost everything is public. granted, i don't seen the value of placing games in a school library, but the public library should reflect the tastes and desires of the local area, so i think this is great. of course, no i wave to go add 'ps2', 'xbox', 'gcn' et al to my list of media types for our software . . .

Re:other side of coin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11815681)

Given that it's reasonable to assume that most library staff have at least a reasonable grasp on grammar, I bet your customers are unimpressed that you can't find the shift key.

Re:other side of coin (1)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815902)

nah, i use the shift key when i talk to them . . .

Re:other side of coin (1)

Washizu (220337) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815834)

"while talking to our customers, we get asked if things even stranger then video games can be cataloged."

Don't leave us hanging! What are some of the stranger things? Hub caps? Beaver pelts? Shrunken heads?

Just curious.

Re:other side of coin (1)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816137)

one example:

we were dealing with a school library that had a bigger athlatic budget then library budget. so we sold the program to the school so they could catalog and circulate the athlethic equipment, but then the library got to use it as well.

granted, i know there are better examples, but i'm drawing a blank on them. we've been in r&d for awhile now, so i haven't gotten to hear stupid customer questions lately.

The first thing I thought when I read TFA was... (4, Interesting)

rivercityrandom (626724) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815007)

What a total waste of taxpayer dollars! But then again, I suppose that's what people thought when they started adding videos and popular fiction books to library shelves. Indeed, a game such as Final Fantasy VII has just as much plot and "literary value" as your average romance novel or Adam Sandler film. Video games are products of our culture, and as such would tell us and future generations a lot about ourselves and our times, so there's no reason why they shouldn't be archived as books are in libraries. And it would bring the teenagers in, and maybe while they're at the library they might actually pick up a good book or something...

Perhaps the wide-spread adoption among libraries of a specific video game format (such as the PS2) would also spur on a whole new set of edutainment titles, multimedia encyclopedias and technical manuals and such that would be available for libraries to check out to their patrons. If Sony maintains backwards compatibility with the PS2 format for at least the next few generations, these would still remain useful for some time, unlike the multimedia CD-ROMs of the early '90s that require Windows 3.1 or an old version of the Mac OS and Quicktime to run. With the graphics capabilities of the PS2, you could make, for instance, car and appliance repair manuals, that allow you to rotate the engine on the screen and take things apart and put them back together again before working on the actual equipment. Or you could put the entire Project Gutenberg library on a PS2 DVD, which could print to a USB printer or save to a USB keyfob. This would actually be a boon to poorer families, who might be able to afford a $149 PS2 but not a computer with a DVD drive that could handle the graphics required for similar full-screen video and 3D object manipulation.

That said, a PS2-updated version of A Brief History of Time CD-ROM [the-underdogs.org] would be super-cool...

Transient? (3, Insightful)

VendingMenace (613279) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815353)

The only real objection to this that i can think of is this;

When my tax $$ goes to buying a book, i expect that the book will be used until it wears out. That is, there is no reason why a book that is bought today cannot be read 50 years from now. The technology needed for reading books is quite static.

However, with video games, i see no reason to expect that games bought today will be used much even 5 years from now. Any consol games surely will be horribly out of date and few people will even own the consols anymore. Computer games will be somewhat better, but not much.

The same problem (to a lesser degree) can be seen with the VHS collections. Really, how much are those collections used anymore and will they even exist in the next few years?

The buying a video games just seems like a good way to run through the budgetary money that is already quite low for most public libraries. Why spend $50 on a game that will be used for a few years when you could buy 5 books for the same price and have them last for 25 years? It just doesn't seem like good fiscal management to me.

On the other hand, i love games, and i am exicted to see libraries carrying them. I do think that it is a legitamate thing for libraries to carry -- as they function as repositories of culture. I just think that given the limited budgets that most libraries have to work with they money is better spent on less transitory media.

I realize that adding games might make libraries more populare thus raising their budget. however, i think that DVD collections are much more effective at that. Lets face it, the majority of gamers are young children. And they don't constitute the voting power that adults do.

I guess i am torn. I love the idea of libraries carrying games, but i don't like the idea of them spending money on something that will only be usefull for a few years. Perhaps libraries should have game collections, but they should be entirely built off of donations. Who knows. :D

Re:Transient? (1)

mrseigen (518390) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815763)

My feeling is that with an increased amount of computer science grad students finding out they can write papers on games, some university libraries may start carrying something like this.

I mean, who wouldn't want to do a paper on the "player-chasing" dynamic? You could do case studies on Pac-Man, GTA, etc.

I know some people right now who are doing papers on game AI -- this would fit right in for a bibliography.

Re:Transient? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11815939)

"When my tax $$ goes to buying a book, i expect that the book will be used until it wears out. That is, there is no reason why a book that is bought today cannot be read 50 years from now. The technology needed for reading books is quite static."

I know it seems that way because you have your books, and your books last, but in the library system any popular book lasting is really an anomaly.

An ordinary paperback book will survive seven to ten readings from an average reader. A library bound copy of the same book will survive twenty to fifty, depending on chance. Usually somebody has an accident far sooner than that.

That means when the library buys a copy of Harry Potter, they know it will only get read by a certain number of people. The late fees help absorb the cost of buying a replacement, the taxpayer covers the rest, but it's not some eternal object that's going to be in the library for fifty years.

This has an interesting effect of library stock... if a book is continually popular, the library keeps replacing it, so they have a new copy of something like To Kill a Mockingbird. If the book isn't very popular, it may stick around for decades before wearing out, so they have copies of science textbooks from 1972. The books that are only moderately popular don't get replaced. The result is that the books at a library which are physically older tend to be amusingly bad or essentially useless.

After a book has lived out most of its useful life at the library without being lost or catastrophically destroyed by spilled milk, it's sold in the discard bin.

The pace of technological obsolescence isn't going to compare with the pace of wear and tear. A console's lifespan tends to be in the five year range... a CD which has been at a library for five years is a mess. Don't worry about it. If fifteen people get to play a fifty dollar game, that's pretty good usage.

Re:Transient? (2, Interesting)

ink_13 (675938) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816457)

On the contrary: I am excited to have some kind of source where I will be able to legally dig up today's games 20 years from now. And not just the binaries... I expect libraries will also hold on the manuals. I think it's peachy that it's also free.

Part of a library's purpose is to act as an archive, not just loan out material (it's arguable that loaning out material is a side benefit of having an archive of books, not the other way around). The only other place I know of archiving games in The Underdogs, and they're (at best) questionably legal.

Re:Transient? (2, Interesting)

Cosmicbandito (160658) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816481)

What you fail to realize is that a collection of books is just as transient. Titles don't go into a library collection and stay there forever.
the book your tax dollars financed ten years ago served it's purpose and is probably gone now. This is especially true with popular fiction titles. More sholarly books tend to stick around, but generally, books that were popular 10 years ago don't get read now. so they go away to make room for what the public wants NOW. The same will be true with the console games.

Re:Transient? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11816967)

No, the majority of gamers are young men ages 20-30. And the average age is rising.

Re:Transient? Books don't last 25 yrs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11819078)

Books don't last 25 years- some paperback barely make it through 3.

Also- Libraries are not archives, and (although this may be news) they also WEED the collections. Or should.

We don't have any books on Windows 3.1 -nor should we-

As things get old and torn and useless, we make them go away.

Re:Transient? (1)

ChaosDiscord (4913) | more than 9 years ago | (#11820905)

However, with video games, i see no reason to expect that games bought today will be used much even 5 years from now. Any consol games surely will be horribly out of date and few people will even own the consols anymore.
Not necessarily. Indeed, the author's director asked this same question, leading the author to focus on the PS2. The PlayStation 1 is just about 10 years old now and its games easily played on widely available hardware (the PS2 or the budge PSone). By all reports the PS3 will emulate the PS2 and possibly the PS1. So if you're careful about what you pick a 15 year lifespan is reasonable. That's a pretty good run (if not a great one).

Indeed, by your logic DVDs are a bad investment; HD-DVDs are on the horizon and there is a reasonable chance that within 15 years that DVD will as dead as VHS is now.

Re:Transient? (1)

angle_slam (623817) | more than 9 years ago | (#11828290)

You assume that books don't wear out. They do. They get tossed in backpacks, thrown around, get bent by dozens of people. They wear out and have to be replaced.

Family Friendly... (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815414)

(From TFA)
family-friendly titles (Harry Potter, Hot Shots Golf, The Incredibles)

Hot Shots Golf? Where you beat your caddy to play better?

Re:Family Friendly... (2, Informative)

turbopunk (806995) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815440)

no, that would be outlaw golf

ok, i admit it, i'm a golf game junkie . . .

Re:Family Friendly... (1)

yotto (590067) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815615)

You're right! How foolish of me.

Nothing to see here, move along.

Re:Family Friendly... (1)

shoebert (819099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11818813)

funny thing is, my library has been carrying pc games for a while, and their stock includes (but is in no way limited to) half-life, max payne 2, unreal tournament 2k4, and a lot more. not even sure if they card you to take them out, either.

not for long (1)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11815548)


sure, i remember a day when libraries had big dirty plastic bags with 5'1/4" floppies in em and hooks on top.. oregon trail, math munchers, all dat.

a hundred years from now we STILL won't see half-life 2 on that shelf. thanks steam.

Re:not for long (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816445)

Yeah, but Half-Life 2 doesn't have any educational value. Sure, Oregon Trail let you pwn bison all day, but it was educational because it taught you that no man can carry more than 100 pounds of meat (or approximately 0.12 bison) back to the wagon in a day.

Re:not for long (1)

evilmousse (798341) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816624)


does 'where the sidwalk ends' have any direct educational value? or does the anarchist's cookbook for that matter have the kind of education you'd permit? both of them are in libraries.

i beleive half-life2 will make for a cultural milestone to many, as we look back on how games have progressed. that alone makes it worth including in the library to me. going back to "in 100 years", it may well be a checkpoint on the evolutions of graphics and physics engines..

Ideal situations (2, Insightful)

An'Desha Danin (666568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816031)

Given sufficient time and budget (laughable, I know), there's no reason why a library should limit inself to one particular system when major technical and artistic advances are being made on practically every platform.

Also, given any kind of decent budget, there is no reason for games to become quickly obsolete. Simply pick up a few decent-condition used consoles after they fall out favor. If I can scrape up a near-mint SNES off of eBay for $25 it shouldn't be that hard to supply people with the hardware they need to play "obsolete" games. I realise this is a bit of a pipe dream since libraries are woefully underfunded as it is, but it's a concession that will have to made eventually if video games are actually considered by libraries to be a ligitimate medium and not just a quick way to post better numbers (which it unfortunately appears they are).

And I appreciate that the guy from TFA had a really crappy distributor to work with and he couldn't get M-rated titles, but if I walked into a library and saw that pile of games on the shelf I think I'd have to be dragged out laughing. If you're going to buy PS2 games for an instutution created ostensibly to promote the arts to the public and you can't get your hands on ICO and Metal Gear Solid 2 or 3, you might as well just give up and keep the money for next year.

I'd rather see a netflix type service with games. (1)

AbRASiON (589899) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816276)

Why waste resources on libraries having the games when ultimately they will never have a decent collection and half of them will be damaged / destroyed due to them being loaned by morons (due to being essentially free)

Netflix / bigpondmovies (aust) / zip.ca (I think?) need an optional plan for gamers or to add games to your current plan (due to the value of a game,.. perhaps make it equivelant to borrowing 2 dvd's for 1 game?) etc

Re:I'd rather see a netflix type service with game (1)

IKnwThePiecesFt (693955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11818204)

http://www.gamefly.com/

hardware problems (1)

xgamer04 (248962) | more than 9 years ago | (#11816812)

A problem I see with this is this: most "classic" games and ones that defined their era will require the library to have a copy of the parent system on hand. Sure, there's emulation, but that would be a legal nightmare to figure out. I would love to be able to let my kids play the "classic" games that I played when I was little, but I think it will be very hard with the copyright insanity we have going on recently.

Emulation thoughts... (2, Insightful)

True Vox (841523) | more than 9 years ago | (#11817635)

What if the US government made emulation legal for systems 10 years or older for librarys ONLY. I know it will take legal fanageling, but it could be worth the trouble. I see no problem of offering an archive of all the NES games ever made and an emulator. That wouldn't be so bad, would it? I can see no PS2 emulators 'till 2011, but com'on: NES etc. is old.

List (2, Insightful)

kernel_dan (850552) | more than 9 years ago | (#11818491)

Here's the list of games he chose: Alias
Amplitude
Culdcept
ESPN NBA 2K5
ESPN NFL 2K5
ESPN NHL 2K5
Finding Nemo
Gradius V
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Hot Shots Golf Fore!
The Incredibles
Katamari Damacy
Lord of the Rings: The Third Age
Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal
Scaler
Sonic Mega Collection Plus
Spider-Man 2
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Battle Nexus
Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 4
Tony Hawk's Underground 2
Van Helsing
WWE Smackdown VS Raw

Most of the games have liscensed content, raising their popularity but not their worth as a game. There may be some good ones, but this list does not include ones for hardcore gamers.

Que es? (1)

carninja (792514) | more than 9 years ago | (#11823009)

What's a "Library"? Does Google now have a physical location or something?

This is not new for some locations... (1)

Cherveny (647444) | more than 9 years ago | (#11823453)

The Cleveland Public Library has been stocking software, including games, since the early 1990s.

Spare Change (1)

Vampyre_Dark (630787) | more than 9 years ago | (#11824459)

Why not keep a room full of Arcade machines... finally something to do with all that late fee pocket change!

Okay Johnny, you're three weeks late brining this in.. that's 21 rounds of dig-dug!

My library and games (1)

assassinator42 (844848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11831313)

It used to offer SNES games I believe, but not anymore. Now the only games it has are for the PC. And more CDs are the educational kind. A nice thing about the library system, at least in Michigan, is the ability to have them bring books from, I believe, any library in the LP to your library. Do all libraries have this? There are games like Age of Empires and Sim City. My library has Need for Speed Underground.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...