Video games, literacy and the library

There was some discussion recently regarding video games, literacy and libraries.   Do video games increase, decrease or have a negligible effect on literacy?  If they do not make us more literate why do we have video game programs at the library? Do they really fit the mission of the library? Does it matter?

I have always considered programs like video game tournaments, DDR nights and the like as gateway programs.  They may not fit the actual mission of the library, but they may get teens who otherwise would not enter the library unless forced by a parent.  Once the teens are there, you can show them other items and services the library provides with displays of CDs, DVDs, graphic novels and, yes, books.  You can have information on any online homework help and databases that can help them wth school work available.  You might only get a few of the kids interested in these other library services, but that will be more than you had without the video game programs.

I don’t know if video games in and of themselves have an effect on literacy.  I do know video game programs can have an effect on the teen population of a library.

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