Library Journal – Meet the Gamers

Library Journal – Meet the Gamers (Via kurt’s research.) One more before I get back to work… I had to create a separate post to share this quote from Squire and Steinkuehler, comparing gaming culture to the culture of libraries, and to the Wikipedia:

It is impossible to resist imagining a library built on gamer principles, where patrons decide which materials and services are offered and which are not. All discussions of the library’s future direction would be open, with full transcripts digitized, searchable, and part of the permanent record. Mechanisms would be put in place so that patrons are welcomed as new users but encouraged to participate in decision-making and, eventually, contribute their own materials. Library users would be linked to their relevant social networks through a variety of tools.

To an extent, Wikipedia shares many of these ideas. Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia built collaboratively by users. Anyone is free to create or edit a page. Through their collective intelligence, users have built a knowledge base that numbers 480,000 English entries, with separate versions in 187 languages. Any user can edit any post on the site, yet vandalism is caught quickly. In a 2002 study of the “history flow” of Wikipedia entries (available at, IBM found that most acts of vandalism are caught within five minutes, with the page then restored to an earlier edition. Consumers become creators. There is open access for everyone. And information is freely available anytime, anywhere.

This IBM quote will now be a part of my read/write web presentations when I discuss the Wikipedia, even if I do have to note that it’s a bit dated. Also, I would definitely get behind a movement to create libraries like this. I even occurs to me, and I think this was the point of the article, that even without being replaced school libraries and librarians can move in this direction. So can teachers in their classrooms. The values are close to the heart of constructivist educational philosophy. Naturally, I feel that teacher and student use of blogs could facilitate just this sort of change in classrooms.

As an aside… I just counted 86 draft posts in the queue. I need to find a better way to manage this, or else switch back to FURL. I know I need to settle for FURL like annotations here, but feel compelled to catch up first. I’m sure I’ll sort it out soon, because having a hundred drafts is just ludicrous. More soon…