The Library Journal blog recently featured an article “Games, Gamers, & Gaming: Gateway or “Bait” Games” that included advice from a study by Syracuse University School of Information Studies Associate Professor Scott Nicholson.
The article, written by Library Journal blogger Liz Danforth, offers suggestions about how to engage library patrons by providing simple games to lure in guests and not scare them off. She says to “give them what they want” and that console games like Rock Band will sell themselves, but patrons will need more encouragement to play traditional games like chess. Though it is more difficult to get patrons to play these games, the investment is worth it because involvement with traditional games will surpass electronic games.
“According to a study (bit.ly/c5hMze) by New York’s Syracuse University iSchool professor Scott Nicholson,” Danforth wrote, “board games and traditional games such as chess far outstrip the popularity of console games in a library setting.”
Nicholson, the director of the Library Game Lab of Syracuse, combines his backgrounds as a librarian, computer programmer, a gamer and statistician both in the classroom and in his research role as a library scientist. One of his research areas is the intersection of gaming in libraries in which he studies the ways in which libraries use recreational gaming activities and explores what activities are most effective for different user groups and different goals. Nicholson is the author of the book Everyone Plays at the Library and numerous scholarly articles about the impact of gaming on library attendance and interactivity. Nicholson holds an MSLIS from Texas Christian University and a Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.