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Canada Media The Almighty Buck Games News

Canadian Libraries Want $300,000 To Buy Games 229

Posted by timothy
from the but-nothing-that-can't-get-past-the-border dept.
AirborneGamer writes "The Toronto Public Library is asking for $300K to build up a collection of video games. They have not said if they will buy all types of games, or leave out the M-rated ones. As the City Councilor of Toronto said about the project, 'It may be the only time a young person comes in. It can act as a magnet to attract people. 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.' This is a good plan actually, and besides bringing kids into the library it will bring in parents and or guardians who otherwise may not visit the library on their own."
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Canadian Libraries Want $300,000 To Buy Games

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  • by Drethon (1445051) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:21AM (#31655496)
    In Michigan our local library always carried computer games. Not always up to date but a good selection of Maxis games, tycoon types and even a few shooters. It seemed to work out quite well to me...
  • DRM? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MikeFM (12491) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:21AM (#31655500) Homepage Journal
    I wonder how DRM would work out with this sort of concept. If the game tries to keep itself from passing from user to user.
  • Good idea, but... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Kokuyo (549451) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:22AM (#31655510) Journal

    All the popular titles use some kind of DRM. Did they keep this in mind? What will the publishers say? Are there for rent versions or will the librarians just have to go and unlock the games through dozens of different hotlines or however this works?

    Or are they only talking about console games?

  • Books still do in-depth coverage that just isn't being done by the vast majority of the sites on the Internet.

    They also have the advantage of better editing (compare, for example, to slashdot ...)

    Libraries also do other things than just lend out books - if you or someone you know has pre-school kids, for example, you might want to check out their other programs. Ditto for pretty much any other age group, right up to seniors.

    As a meeting place, they're also a lot safer than the local bar.

    This is a great idea.

  • by dingen (958134) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:34AM (#31655620)
    What do you mean, games and movies don't tell stories? Storytelling is the main driving force behind games nowadays, even on the consoles and even the mainstream ones, and they're often quite complex too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:42AM (#31655686)

    Libraries are there to upkeep culture and the arts, and modern media and video games are very much a part of our culture. Just because something isn't "Moby Dick" doesn't mean it isn't poignant or worthwhile.

  • by Heed00 (1473203) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:59AM (#31655798)

    The kids that want to go to the library already do. Their parents usually are readers also and tought them by example.

    The idea is to give those kids who don't go another reason to go. If they don't go because they're not that interested in books, then they might go because of games. Once there, they might discover that books (or one of the other things on offer) hold something of interesting for them as well.

    Also, I'm not sure why a kid would want to go to the library to play video games. Most kids have what they need to play at home.

    Seems like wasted money to me.

    The same reason people go for books -- not everyone can afford to buy every game they would like to experience. Most kids from a certain economic background might "have what they need", but there are significant sections of society that don't. Libraries provide public access to cultural materials -- this is simply recognizing that games are of cultural significance and should therefore be included in what's on offer.

  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:03AM (#31655838)

    We won't call you "conservative," we'll just call you short-sighted and ill-informed.

    The "classics" for which you pine were once upon a time a previous generation's pop culture, in very many cases. And I wish I had a dollar for every kid who picked up a copy of Bullfinch or Hamilton after playing a game in the "God of War" series -- or watching a season of Xena, for that matter.

    Culture is one long conversation, the present building upon the past, creating the shapers of its future. Guys like you who want to pick, choose, and control aren't enabling Art, you're obstructing her.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:26AM (#31656054)

    Do the Norwegian libraries offer porno DVDs?

  • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:26AM (#31656058) Homepage Journal

    You notice we never see stories when libraries want to spend money on graphic novels, or money on subscriptions to teen magazines, or money on the hundreds of other items that are only of interest to a few people. You're not going to believe this, but libraries in the Chicago system have (gasp!) chessboards! Call out the Tea Parties!

    But we're supposed to all go into paroxysms of anti-government outrage when a library system wants to buy...games.

    You know how many soldiers $300,000 would train and outfit? None! You get ONE KID who comes from a family too poor to buy games and he learns to love games and grows up to start a company that makes games and you've made many times that much money in taxes.

    God damn I am tired of people who've enjoyed the fruits of public spending and are now complaining about anybody else doing so.

  • by HopefulIntern (1759406) on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:42AM (#31656250)
    If they did, you would be disappointed. Norwegian law for porn is similar to that of Japan (well, you can show naughty bits on their own, but penetration is censored). We used to skip the border to Sweden to get the dirty stuff (porn, spirits and bacon). Now the former is available online for free..so..
  • by nacturation (646836) * <nacturation&gmail,com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:02AM (#31656540) Journal

    God damn I am tired of people who've enjoyed the fruits of public spending and are now complaining about anybody else doing so.

    Interestingly, you're the only one I've seen (meta-)complaining about this.

  • Not conservative (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland@ya[ ].com ['hoo' in gap]> on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:13AM (#31656704) Homepage Journal

    Short sighted would be more correct. I do understand that it can be confusing with Neo-Cons destroying everything conservative.

    DVD lending has given me and my kids looks into other cultures. An example of that would be Anime.
    An added bonus is that going to the library is a normal experience for my children.

    "Public libraries, in my opinion, should solely be about self-improvement and betterment. "
    So no sci-fi? romance?

    who do you think you are where you get to tell people they need for self-improvement and betterment. MY daughter is interested in Learning Japanese solely because we where able to get Japanese movies from the library.

    "Books, movies, and music should be classics, self-help, technical, etc."
    Who are you to determine what a classic is?

  • by blackraven14250 (902843) on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:41AM (#31657050)

    Good thing that public libraries provide computers in most, if not all, parts of the U.S. Otherwise, I might say that there's a whole bunch of disenfranchised people in inner cities who can't afford internet access.

    Oh, wait. Those internet-enabled computer in the libraries that anyone can use? They're very much a suburban thing in the quantity needed to serve the community.

  • by goodtrick (1201109) on Monday March 29, 2010 @10:56AM (#31657284)
    Wow, you are actually proud that you have never entered a public library?

    I assume you got your degrees from private universities?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @11:04AM (#31657438)

    I would say they are attracting exactly the right kind of kids. What needs to be done is to come up with a plan to help curb behavior that isn't appropriate so that all kids learn to become "the right kind of kid".

  • by RJFerret (1279530) on Monday March 29, 2010 @11:10AM (#31657506) Homepage

    Don't presume it's tax dollars. At a large library here, they are no longer buying DVDs in favor of Bluray because the donor who provides money for the video collection now wants Bluray.

    Also don't forget, the form of media delivery doesn't impact it's value of "self-improvement and betterment".

    Libraries were formed as surrogate book stores, specifically to bring content to a wider audience. They are currently in a significant shift as their patrons are demanding fewer books and more online/electronic resources. To stay relevant, they need to cater to the demands of their tax/donor base since they aren't their own bosses, you are their patron.

  • by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:20PM (#31658538)
    never set foot in a government-funded library my whole life, and I seem to have made out okay (engineer - two degrees). And now that we have the internet, such that I or anybody else can download literally millions of free books (or just read wikipedia), the government-funded libraries are even less necessary.

    I'm not sure if you're an idiot or a troll ... I simply do not believe you can have earned two degrees, in any subject, without entering a library. Or is there some catch, your university library is not "government funded"? And since when is Wikipedia a citeable source for any academic work?

    On reflection, I'm leaning more to "troll".

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary @ y a hoo.com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:12PM (#31659200) Journal

    You have no idea what its like to be poor, do you? Your anecdotal bullshit about 'inner-city' people with cellphones is ludicrous. Rich and middle class people do live in and visit inner cities. Did you count all the people without them? No. Of course not.

    Let me ask you a question. Did you go to public school? If so, you received a public benefit that exists for the same reason libraries do. A democracy can't function without an educated populace. Would you deny that education to older people who may have missed out on a good public education for whatever reason? If so, you are cutting off your nose to spite your face. You benefit from being a part of a more educated populace. Therefore, your taxes should go to help pay for that benefit.

    Over half of all low income families use the public library as their primary Internet connection. You try making ends meet with a family living on $30,000 a year, and that with two breadwinners both of whom probably work multiple jobs. See if you can afford that $100 computer plus $7 a month when you are already forced to choose between buying heat, medicine, or food this month. They don't have access. It is true. You can lie to yourself about poverty all you like, if that helps you sleep soundly at night, but it doesn't change the facts. Just keep telling yourself, "The world is fair. Good people are rewarded. Bad people are punished. Everyone gets a fair shot. The only reason people fail is through their own lack of effort." but don't be surprised when people of conscience do not respect you.

  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:29PM (#31659488) Homepage Journal

    I'm not your buddy, friend.

  • All the Nordic countries have libraries like this, and only Norway has significant amounts of oil. As I posted above, in Finland, where the only natural resource is wood (and Brazil is beating us out on wood exports these days) and there isn't much to the economy besides Nokia, the libraries are just as good. It's simply a different use of citizen's taxes than in other countries.

  • by SpekkioMofW (711835) on Monday March 29, 2010 @04:29PM (#31661796) Homepage

    I feel sorry for you, going your whole life, supposedly without using publicly-funded libraries. (Someone else already made the point about public universities, so I won't retread that.) Going your entire life...I'm guessing at least thirty years...without knowing the exquisite joys of the public library...to be able to obtain knowledge and entertainment without spending a ton of money each time you do so...to be able to read materials that are no longer in print (and not available on the Internet)...to know the pleasure that comes from simply browsing shelves upon shelves (and maybe floors upon floors) of well-kept, useful, well-organized books...I can't imagine how that's a good thing.

    And really (full disclosure: I'm a graduate student in Library and Information Science) I would think that an engineer would be kinder, more knowledgeable, and more understanding about libraries (and, by extension, librarians) in general because your profession depends on information that is only available through library resources. And I don't just mean books - I mean expensive subscription-only electronic resources - journals, databases, technical data.... This sort of thing isn't available to just anyone - it's too damned expensive. But that's a big part of what libraries do. Large corporations like PPG have their OWN libraries to serve their employees. Check out the Special Libraries Association for more information....

  • Your model airplane hobby is not important to your function as a citizen of the US. Education is. Libraries provide a valuable function to society. Being a model airplane pilot does enhance your ability to contribute to society. It is not a positive externality like being educated is. Societies around the world have agreed on the value of public libraries for hundreds of years. You just don't feel like paying your fair share for the benefits you receive. Fortunately, we live in a democracy, and we can vote on things like libraries. And then you have to pay your fair share whether you want to or not. You don't get to be the freeloader you'd like to be, so very sorry.

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