Libraries Declare National Gaming Day

This Saturday, November 14, has been set aside by libraries across the US as "National Gaming Day". But don't think it's got to do with bowing at the altar of consumer entertainment. Oh no. It's to do with history.

The American Library Association, realising what some of us have known for years, have decreed that games can be a positive force in the teaching of history, and that the medium should be celebrated with a special day commemorating that.

"We have found that by adding board and video game formats to library collections", ALA President Dr. Camila Alire told Reuters, "we are providing users with tools to build strong literacy practices while sharpening technical and critical thinking skills".

Before you scoff, remember: history isn't always about dates and names. If a game can introduce a player to a period in time, let them see social and political forces at work (or give them an understanding of how those forces affect everyday people), that can be just as important as sticking a historical figure in a game, or having the player recreate an actual event.

Academics hope history in video games spurs interest [Reuters]