Reason #62: We Loan Free Video Games!

Reason #62 - We loan free video games It’s the summer. To some kids, this means parking their bottoms in front of the television and playing hours upon hours of video games. Purchasing new games, or even USED ones, can become expensive. (Many new games are about $55 each!) Some people think video game play is something that should be traded for fresh air, exercise, or reading. While we at the library discourage endless hours of video game play, we do think that they have something to offer. We also think that they can be a good form of entertainment and education for children and teens. (Things that everyone needs!) We also think that they should be available to everyone. For over two years, St. Thomas Public Library has been loaning video games for XBOX 360, PS3, Wii, and Nintendo DS. Why does the library loan free video games? (My mother used to say that they rot your brain.) There’s an easy answer! They can be great at teaching youth at a broad range of age and ability many skills. Mind you, every game is different and therefore offers different skills. It’s a very sneaky kind of learning! For example, many video games have text boxes that pop onto the screen (sometimes without an audio companion), so children are encouraged to read. Not enough? How about this – gaming teaches:

  • Critical thinking (including “Thinking outside the box” and finding multiple solutions to a problem.)
  • Teamwork
  • Time management
  • Money management
  • Multitasking
  • Organizational skills
  • Hand-eye coordination
  • Map reading skills (which comes in handy when the GPS fails)
  • Encouragement for exploration
  • Geographical orientation and map reading
  • Learning from your mistakes
  • Music appreciation (have you ever listened to some of the musical scores created for a video game? Where else are kids these days exposed to classical music?)

Can a book do all of that? And this list goes on and on! But these are just the opinions of one person. Tell us what YOU think! Rules for Video Game Loan:

  • 7 day loan period
  • 2 maximum renews (if no holds)
  • $1/day per item overdue fine

All games are rated either “E” for Everyone or “E 10+” for everyone aged 10 and older, and “T” for teens (found in the Teen Lounge.) While the games are located in the Children’s and Teens’ Department, that doesn’t mean adults can’t enjoy them! Check the library’s online catalogue for game titles. (Click “Power Search” and in the “Location” drop-down menu, select “Video Games.” Click “Search.” You do not need to type in anything else.)

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