Library Got Game?

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Wired MagazineGaming has branched out of arcades and basements asserts WIRED magazine writer Rex Sorgatz. He summarizes his article, "When Reality Feels Like Playing a Game, a New Era Has Begun," with:

Of course, the basics of gameplay — competing against opponents,
setting records, winning prizes — are as old as human civilization. But
the gaming mindset has now become pervasive. We use game models to
motivate ourselves, to answer questions, to find creative solutions.
For many, life itself has turned into a game.

Gaming is racking up points in libraries too. Public libraries offer three months of gaming every year in the form of Summer Reading. (Counting books or minutes read in order to earn prizes is pretty obvious.) School libraries are usually closely tied into the Accelerated Reader system, which is yet another game to encourage reading.

But we haven’t hit the high score yet. There’s still a lot more libraries could do to utilize game theory for maximum effect. What about having library users earn points for referring friends to sign up for library cards? Or special priviledges for always bringing books back on time? Or a weekly prize drawing for kids who follow the rules?

The possiblities are endless. Whatever you do to put more game into your library, you’ll be more relevant in this new life-is-a-game era. Libraries need to level up their services by being more fun and more interesting. Are you game?