Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, John Klima, Carlie Webber, Karen Corday, and Eli Neiburger. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.


World Series of Video Games on CBS

Sunday at noon, CBS will broadcast the World Series of Video Games, including hugely popular games Guitar Hero II, World of Warcraft, and Fight Night Round 3. This is huge.

In spite of gaming's continuing march towards mainstream acceptance -- the first generation of gamers are now parents gaming with their own kids, after all -- there are some challenges to translating the experience of viewing the championships in person (an experience limited to gaming superfans) and making the experience of viewing them on TV enjoyable for a broader (read: non-superfan) audience:

It is a task that in some ways is no less daunting than that of the early baseball television producers who eventually realized that a camera way out in center field would provide the best view of pitches.

Editor Jesse Gordon figured out a work-around that sounds both useful and not terribly intrusive:

Mr. Gordon had added six fat red health meters, like digital fuel gauges, reflecting the fortunes of the game’s players. For anyone actually playing the game, the same information would be conveyed by just a few minuscule pixels tucked in a corner of the screen. “We need to add the health bars so TV viewers can understand what’s happening,” Mr. Gordon said. “Otherwise, forget it.”

Fascinating. I wonder if any gaming libraries are doing this on a smaller scale; perhaps recording video of gaming tournaments (or encouraging gamers to do so themselve) and posting them to YouTube.



  • At 10:42 AM, Blogger melissa said…

    Oh, shoot! I wish I had known about this!

    I don't know about the YouTube thing, but Ann Arbor District Library broadcasts their video game tournaments on the local cable access station; they even have teens providing color commentary!


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