Undergrad Library hosts gaming event

By Erik Allgood

Libraries traditionally have books, films and music, and soon video games will be added to that list.

The American Library Association has created a “National Gaming Day” in which libraries from all over the country host an event showcasing video games.

The University’s Undergraduate Library participated, offering both new video game systems such as a Wii, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 and vintage systems such as Sega Genesis and Atari 2600. The event was centered on a nationwide online tournament.

David Ward, head of information services for the Undergraduate Library who helped organize the event, said that the library has become interested in gaming because it is important to students. Ward also said that video games have many applications as teaching tools that with development could be used in academics.

“Some people are wondering why we are having a video game event at the library,” Ward said. “But we look at it as just another medium we can use to support the academic needs of our students.”

The main event was an online tournament where the participants played Super Smash Bros. Brawl, in which players battle as classic Nintendo characters. Gabriel Salamanca, sophomore in Engineering, said that the game is his favorite.

“It’s something I like to do when I’m bored or need to de-stress,” Salamanca said, “My favorite character is Kirby.”

Gamebuilders, a Registered Student Organization which independently creates video games, had a booth at the event. The group creates ideas for games, votes on which ideas to develop and enters the finished product into the Independent Gaming Festival. The group offered information about their process at the event.

“It’s mainly about getting noticed,” said Cameron Kikoen, junior in LAS. “Everybody in our group wants to develop video games for a living.”

Ward believes the library’s investment in video games is justified.

“When video first came out libraries were also slow to accept that,” Ward said. “Now people expect video to be part of a library’s collection.”

Courey Gruszauskas, graduate student in Library and Information Sciences who helped organize the event, said that one of its purposes was to let students know that the library has an expansive catalog of video games that students can check out.