Having never played many videogames, I don’t consider myself a gamer; however, I have seen a generation of learners come through my library who have grown up with videogames. A recent library article shared the idea of including videogames as a literary genre alongside other media formats, such as films because they now embed stories that evoke real emotions in a similar way. Current videogames feature cinematic scenes and are often set in historical periods, just like historical fiction novels. Some may be considered too violent for young players (example Call of Duty), but often the historical details are researched in the same way writers and filmmakers seek authenticity.
So, it may seem perfectly natural for the “gaming generation” to enter virtual spaces set in eras from the past. Resources may include reading a novel, viewing a film, or actually entering a virtual simulation set in a particular time and place, such as Berlin, Germany in the 1920’s. Working in collaboration with colleagues in the virtual world of Second Life, I shot machinima of the Grand Opening of the Summer in Berlin Exhibit on display through August 2012 at http://slurl.com/secondlife/Info%20Island/61/94/24/ All are welcome to attend individually or for the live tours on July 14th or August 5th at 1pm Pacific Time.
At the upcoming American Library Association Convention in Anaheim, California, I will be leading the ACRL Virtual World Interest Group meeting for librarians interested in immersive learning and information delivery through virtual worlds. I will also be leading a session on Virtual Media in Libraries and Museums, sharing the Summer of Berlin Exhibit and other virtual media examples.