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Console video games--games played on gaming systems such as Playstation and GameCube--are huge. They are a primary form of entertainment for everyone under the age of 30, especially school-age children. According to CNN, the sales of console video game software and hardware topped $10.5 billion in 2005. Still not convinced? Economist magazine cited video games as the biggest popular cultural revolution since the advent of rock and roll music.
The video gaming industry has grown from simple software used on the rudimentary Nintendo Game console back in the mid-1980s to three major manufacturers: Microsoft's Xbox/Xbox 360, Sony's Playstation 2, and Nintendo's GameCube. Each system has an unlimited variety of games to meet the interests of all players.
Libraries are trying to become more relevant to young adults, and console video games can play a large role in attracting this segment of the population. A February 2005 article in Voya, "Video Games as a Service: Hosting Tournaments at Your Library," explored how to incorporate video games into library programming. LibGaming, a Google group, holds discussions about the different issues surrounding video games in libraries. At the Public Library Association's national conference in Boston this Spring, hundreds of librarians listened to John Beck, author of Got Game: How the Garner Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever (Harvard Business School Press, 2004), who claimed that video games are an integral part of young people's lives. Other librarians discussed the phenomenal response to video games in their circulating collections. By providing video games, libraries will meet the needs of an important segment of their patrons--both young adults and elementary school children.
To help librarians build their collections, School Library Journal will regularly review console video games. In this debut column, we have compiled a list of console video games that could be purchased as a core collection for libraries just beginning to acquire titles in this format. This collection reflects games that have either remained popular through several different versions or are representative of the major genres of video games. The focus is on gaines with either a "Teen" or "Everyone" rating. Next month, we will offer a core collection for elementary and middle school gamers. Future columns will explore various game genres.
Librarians can purchase video games …