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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 trdrstv (986999) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:18AM (#31655482)
    Libraries are becoming increasingly less relevant to the generations who grew up with the internet at their disposal. I personally only made the trips back to the library when they started offering DVD's/ Blurays.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:21AM (#31655494)

    I can see kids getting dumped at the library. Enough kids in a confined space, with limited resources and supervision (and no where else to go). This could lead to problems. They need to tread lightly. I can see how this could succeed, but also how it could backfire.

  • by C4st13v4n14 (1001121) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:31AM (#31655586)

    I'm an American living in Norway and I was shocked to find that my local library has a large collection of Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 games that can be checked out. They also have a sound-proof room where you can play Guitar Hero and Rock Band, as well as a large collection of contemporary music CDs with everything from Metallica to obscure Norwegian music. You can listen to them there or check them out. My wife checked one out and lost it, only finding it several months later and they didn't even make her pay a fee or a late charge. I've been here a while now but back when I had just moved here and was learning Norwegian, I used to go in and use the computers. They had children's games with everything from Oregon Trail-type clones to Harry Potter. It helped me learn vocabulary that wasn't in my books and get a working knowledge of the language, not just the grammatically-correct style that almost no one speaks. One day, a new bitchy librarian decided that I wasn't allowed to use the ones with the games on them because they're "for children", even though there are ten of those PCs and hardly any children in there. Norwegians can be like that, but I digress. I never counted how many PCs they actually have in there, but there are at least 30 for surfing the web, research, or looking through the library's online catalogues. Interestingly, the ones for games run Windows and all the others run Linux.

  • The Netherlands (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Aggrajag (716041) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:32AM (#31655594)
    I lived in the Netherlands about ten years ago and my local library had an extensive collection of music and movies (VHS and DVD). In addition they had quite a lot of older PC-games. The best part was their kick ass English book section with a lot of sci-fi and fantasy.
  • Call me conservative (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Lord Byron II (671689) on Monday March 29, 2010 @08:34AM (#31655610)

    But I hate the idea of tax money going to frivolous things like this. Personally, I can't stand that my library lends DVDs and music too. Public libraries, in my opinion, should solely be about self-improvement and betterment. Books, movies, and music should be classics, self-help, technical, etc. It doesn't make a lot of sense to have the library just be a surrogate Blockbuster/Netflix/Gamefly.

  • Not necessarily... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pollux (102520) <speter AT tedata DOT net DOT eg> on Monday March 29, 2010 @09:38AM (#31656202) Journal

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

    My mother's assistant director at a suburban public library. They just developed a "youth center," filled with Wii & Playstation consoles to attract youth to the library and give them a place to hang out.

    What they soon discovered was that it got more attention than they expected. Kids would just loiter there all day on the weekend, or all evening on weekdays. Many parents also dropped their kids off at the library in the morning and left them there all day. The library isn't built to be a babysitting service, but lots of parents didn't see it that way. They started having problems with graffiti, fights, turf wars, and other general mischief, and complaints from the general patrons have been on the rise.

    Free video games in public places may attract kids, but they often attract the wrong kind of kids. The jury's out on whether or not the attraction actually increases awareness and utilization of the public library.

  • by spun (1352) <loverevolutionary@@@yahoo...com> on Monday March 29, 2010 @12:54PM (#31658956) Journal

    Okay, where can I go to find free books, movies and music in physical formats, online? I don't want to download to a screen reader. I want an actual physical book. One I can take out on my lawn and shake at you kids, yelling, "Get off my lawn or I'll throw this book at you!"

    Now, I have a further question. Name one single media technology that has killed off any previous media technologies. Okay, okay, the telegraph finally died a few years ago after a hundred and fifty plus year run. But I still read books, see plays, listen to radio, watch TV, and go to movies. All of which have been pronounced 'dead' by various prognosticators at one time or another. All of whom have been wrong. I don't think the Internet is going to kill anything off. And there is a sizable group of people for whom their local public library IS their Internet access point: low income and homeless people.

    The purpose of libraries is to pay for an externality: an educated and cultured citizenry, one of the cornerstones of any democracy. Because every citizen gains value from having an educated and cultured populace, but baring government intervention only the individual pays for it, the price point of culture and information does not reflect its true value to society, and we need things like libraries and public schools.

    Now, some people do not see the cultural or educational value in video games, but I ask you this: how will people who know nothing of video games vote correctly on issues regarding video games? Will they just listen to kooks who tell them video games are evil? If they have to buy or rent games, they may not bother to check them out for themselves. But if anyone can check out a game from their local library. maybe a few people will actually look for themselves when someone says so and so game is evil, immoral, and bad for kids. This is a good thing for society, and worth our tax dollars.

  • by iamhassi (659463) on Monday March 29, 2010 @01:15PM (#31659242) Journal
    "Let's just hope that EA don't set the sue-monkeys on them."

    Why would they? This library in St. Louis, Missouri offers Wii [slcl.org], Xbox360 [slcl.org] and Playstation 3 games [slcl.org]

    Is this rare? Do other US libraries not offer the latest video games for consoles?

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