Posts Tagged ‘Games’


A slightly incongruous title for a blog post introducing the multimedia collections, given the comparable limitations of Victorian technologies, but I must perforce stick to my personal brand! The Mediatheque, as it has been officially named, primarily covers my viewing and listening choices, some of which I will also review, as time and verbosity allow. The catalogue – albeit, in a possible affront to my librarian sensibilities, currently without classification – will hopefully be of interest to you, dear readers, in addition to helping me keep track of what I hear, read, and see. It also includes growing lists of websites and webcomics which I read regularly.

Please feel free to leave comments on the page itself, with recommendations or remarks as takes your fancy!

Without further ado, I now declare the Mediatheque open!

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British Library Centre for Conservation – follow the blue dots

I had planned to write my post on CPD23 Thing Sixteen (Advocacy, speaking up for the profession, and getting published) tonight, but I’ve just read the official post thereupon, and I have a lot of reading to do to write a properly considered response.

Fortunately, I had the honour of being invited to an event at the British Library on Friday morning, for Library staff and their guests, on the future of reading, organised by Liquid Information. It’s better to write my report of the discussions sooner rather than later. The event took the form of short presentations by academics, librarians, software designers, journalists, designers, and artists. They had been asked to look at the following questions: (more…)

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It’s been a long time since I sat down and spent a good few hours playing The Legend of Zelda, or The Sims, for that matter. I’ve always enjoyed these games set in whole new worlds, and tonight that is all I want to do. Yet all my consoles are safely packaged up back at the family seat, where they were put for fear that they would distract me from research work.

Valancy Westenra – my ‘Fallen London’ character

Fortunately, there are three online games which I discovered over the past year, and which I would highly recommend. The first of these, which I have been playing longest, is Fallen London. It takes place in an alternate London, somewhat Victorian in feel, and your story begins in a prison from which you must escape. You then navigate and build the game by drawing cards and by moving through “storylets”. It’s a social game, that you can play using your Twitter or Facebook account, and the best part about using the free account is that it limits how much you can play in one day. So your other commitments are unlikely to suffer. One of the best parts is that you can choose your own character’s name and background – I find that these games are something like writing, trying different theories and arguments. They’re about progression. If you enjoyed Choose your own adventure books, these could be for you. If you fancy playing Fallen London, look up my character – Valancy Westenra – as knowing other characters in the game can help you move forward as well.

Who has read The Night Circus?

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern

I am about halfway through, and Morgenstern has created an entrancing world between the covers of her book. I wish that such a circus truly existed. In its absence, you can visit the Cirque de Reves through a computer game very similar in form to Fallen London. It is more about playing by drawing cards as opposed to through storylets, but you can collect objects as you visit the various tents. Again, you can use your Facebook or Twitter account to create an account. In the pursuit of a more coordinated brand, my character is called the Victorian Librarian. Again, join in, and I’ll see you at the Circus. Wear a splash of red!

Find the Future at the New York Public Library

My most recent gaming discovery is Find the Future at the NYPL. The official website describes it thus:

Find The Future at NYPL brings visitors to the Library together with players around the world to tap into the creative power of the Library’s collections.

It is the first game in the world in which winning the game means writing a book together — a collection of 100 ways to make history and change the future, inspired by 100 of the most intriguing works of the past.

Starting May 21, 2011, visitors to the Stephen A. Schwarzman branch of the NYPL can play the game with their personal smartphones or on Library computers. Global players will join the game with any computer that has access to the Internet. The game is free to play.

The game is designed to empower players to find inspiration for their own extraordinary futures by bringing them face-to-face with the writings and personal objects of people who made an extraordinary difference in the past.

The game starts with a special, invitation-only event on May 20, 2011. As part of the Centennial celebration weekend, hundreds of gamers will earn the chance to join a special once-in-a-lifetime event: an “overnight lock-in” at NYPL’s Stephen A. Schwarzman building. This “write all night” lock in will serve as the official kick-off for the Find The Future game.

All visitors to the Library or the website nypl.org/game will continue to be able to play Find The Future through the end of 2011.

The more observant of my readers will realise that we are in fact closer to the end of 2012 than the end of 2011. I nonetheless decided to try my luck and create an account to play the game. Thus far, and I have only played very briefly, it seems to be working. Presumably my gaming shenanigans will not count towards the book that it is being made out of the game. Again, I have chosen to be the Victorian Librarian as I play the game, and in deference to my Pre-Raphaelite geekery, have begun Level 1: A Call to Adventure, with the Lady of Shalott. I will report back on how we two get acquainted at a later date.

I am particularly intrigued by this last as a means of introducing people to a library and its collections, by appealing to their imaginations and getting them involved in the creation of something tangible. It seems like such a wonderful way to use technology as a teaching aide in libraries, and I’m looking forward to some virtual serendipitous browsing.

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