"Thanks to the services provided by FLE we are able to engage with our youth population in a way that helps to build teamwork, teaches them better coordination skills, and keeps them curious about what else the modern library has to offer. This out of the box solution means there is less time for staff to configure and lock down the system, and more time for our Teen and Family Librarians to offer programming, build lasting relationships with the community, and provide a safe space afterschool." - Rob N., Kenosha Public Library, WI
Why have a Fully Loaded System in your Library or other After School Space?
Rob told us why he was looking for a Fully Loaded video game system for his library, and his explanation made a lot of sense.
You probably associate a library with a place for quiet studying among aisles of books. This is true for many of us growing up, because at the time, books, magazines, newspapers, and other printed materials were the defining medium for communicating cultural information. Over the years, with the advents of television and the internet, libraries have grown to incorporate movies and computers to give the public access to information from around the world.
But where do video games fit in? Do they have any purpose in a library? And what value do they bring to the public?
Letter Quest Remastered, a game frequently bundled with our systems
The American Library Association considers video games to be a part of its mission to provide cultural, recreational, and entertaining materials, as well as informational and educational materials. Per their website dedicated to games in libraries, ALA acknowledges that games can enrich a player's vocabulary and expose players to language roots. In the game Letter Quest Remastered, players build words out of the blocks they're given to attack enemies on screen. The bigger the word, the better the attack. This kind of game design can help players learn better via a medium that is interactive and engaging.
Minecraft, included in all of our console bundles, here being played multiplayer.
On the subject of interaction, the ALA also claims that video games meet the developmental needs of teens established by the National Middle School Association. (The Association of Middle Level Education also has a great article on video games here.) These needs include social connection among peers, encouraging creative expression, and providing an opportunity for self-definition. In Minecraft, players can create their own avatar and use it to build the world around them, using many types of materials, and with the help of others online.
An initiative of the American Library Association, Nov. 3-9 2019
But you don't need the internet to enjoy multiplayer games. After all, the library is a communal space - it's meant for all different types of people to gather and share cultural information, and games are a part of that. Library volunteers around the world participate in International Games Week. During this week, libraries use card games, tabletop games, and video games to connect their local communities through social gaming.