Last year’s Arcade 11 brought an interesting mix of librarians, indie games developers as well as games scholars. Through conversations and exchanges of views, it quickly emerged that libraries required alternative models to make independent games available through their digital collections.
Purchasing born-digital copyrighted materials is a strong and emerging trend in libraries worldwide, but “general public” methods of dissemination do not offer the licensing and technological terms libraries require (Libraries cannot acquire born-digital materials from iTunes, Google Play or Amazon as it contradicts the licensing terms of these systems).
In that sense, the TAG team have set out to devise various prototyping models for the licensing and circulation of independent video games at libraries. The Knight Foundation (thank you so much!!!) has funded the creation of a video game console, which the prototype will be devised using over-the-counter inexpensive micro-computer components (with assistance from District 3). We will tap into the pool of graduate studens to build a seed collection of games for libraries as well as articulate some key knowledge points all librarians should know about digital games. Finally, we expect to test whether libraries are open to the idea of having these consoles circulate to users of their library system.
One of our team members thought of getting on-the-fly feedback from parents & kids visiting Arcade 11, our TAG (games) research center open house today & tomorrow… This week is reading week in the Province of Québec, and most k-12 kids are on vacation, so parents scramble to find cool activities to do with their kids. This is the perfect opportunity to great feedback from people visiting our space at Concordia Univerisity in Montréal!
Here is the kit I scrambled together by raiding the supply cabinet…
Also a pic of our concept prototype (version 0.1 or pre-pre-pre alpha) …
(Indie games licensing for libraries project)
… some folks playing at Concordia U’s Arcade 11