Gaming in libraries

I came across an interesting post today about gaming in libraries. Indeed, it seems to be a divisive issue: some feel that computer games take away attention from reading, while others feel that they can be an important way to get teens in the door. This article in particular caught my attention because it provides stats from a number of different sources and suggests that gaming programs really do promote reading (from The Shifted Librarian):

there is indeed evidence that kids who come to the library for gaming also use the book collection more.

‘Speare: The Literacy Arcade Game

Do you have trouble choosing between computer games that are educational and ones that involve doing battle in outer space? Now you can have it all! My daily dose of dino doggerel at Dinosaur Comics brought me face to face with ‘Speare: The Literacy Arcade Game, and yes, you choose a type of ship (I chose Star Crossed) and shoot at other ships while “collecting the poetic code.”

I didn’t play long enough to really understand much of what was going on, but it involves identifying words that are contained in excerpts from Shakespeare (as well as synonyms and antonyms of these words). I don’t think kids will give up Halo or Spore for this game, but it’s a fun idea.