Thursday, May 8, 2008

Get your game on! Wii will rock you!

YSS hosted the “Wii Will Rock You” gaming session tonight to introduce librarians to the world of video gaming. On hand to play was Dance Dance Revolution, Wii sports, Guitar Hero, and the newest game craze, Rock Band.

For those who have never played before, let me explain each game.

Guitar Hero is a game where you use a guitar shaped controller, designed to simulate playing a guitar. There are colored buttons on the neck to be pressed as colors light on the screen. A “Strum” button is also pressed at the same time. The more accurate your button mashing, the better the music sounds.

Rock Band is the same idea, but with two guitars. You also have a “drum” kit that you hit with colored drum pads that must be struck in the same order as colors on the screen. You also have a singer, who sings into a mic. The game rates accuracy for the musicians, and tone and pace of the singer.

Dance Dance Revolution is a game where you follow arrows on a screen by putting your feet on a mat with corresponding arrows on it in dance-like moves.

And Wii is the latest Nintendo gaming system that relies on the player actually going through the motions of the game. For example, if you’re bowling, you move the controller like you’re throwing a bowling ball.

I have to say, you’ve never had fun until you’ve gotten to sing “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” with a group of librarians you’ve just met. Folks really got into the swing of the night, and forgot to be shy. Many an MTV hopeful jumped on Rock Band, and rocked the room out. Many were beginners, having never played before, and there were some failed games. But you’d not find a single Simon in the room as everyone just cheered each other on and tried again.

And we had an unexpected surge of players when the walls between Ballroom 1 and 2 were removed after dinner was over! Suddenly, it was all about the live audience!

I’ve also discovered that while I cannot bowl to save my life, I’m apparently very good at Wii Bowling. I think it’s a different set of skills needed to play the game. Must be the hand eye coordination we gamers are always talking about.

The best thing about an event like this is how those who are a little more familiar with the games help those who have never played before. Some folks were a little shy and preferred to watch, which was just as fun. And everyone was able to laugh at themselves and have a good time learning.

I must say, some really talented folks came along. I was able to play some Rock Band with a young lady, who had an excellent voice. I imagine she must be a hit at Karaoke Night!

It was a great event, and many folks walked away with a little more understanding of video games and why so many folks love them. I got to walk away with a better bowling score. In the end, everyone won!

-Sarah “The Dyslexic Librarian” Hodge-Wetherbe, Springfield Public Library.


Beth Gallaway said...

Great post, Sarah!

For those that need some advocacy tips on how to incorporate these types of gaming programs in their libraries to GROW COMMUNITIES, attending the session on Gaming THURSDAY at 4pm!

Sarah The Dyslexic Librarian said...

Beth's workshop is awesome! I shall be there!

Laura Bernheim said...

This was so much fun! Even though I sadly discovered that I can't play baseball in any format. And Rock Band was much more entertaining than Karaoke. (yes, I'm a closet karaoke fan)