GTA IV: The Game Industry and Your Library
Big news this week as Grand Theft Auto IV breaks not just video game sales records but all entertainment industry (film, music, etc.) records for first day ($310 million) and first week ($500 million) sales. If Halo 3 didn’t do it, GTA surely cements the video game industry as a, maybe even the, leading force in entertainment.
So what does this mean in terms of you and your local library? Quite a bit:
The first and most obvious (although maybe not if you think of your library only in terms of books): there’s a good chance many of the games you’re looking for, and shelling out 50 bucks or more for, are sitting on the shelves of your local library. And don’t forget the walkthrough books. Many libraries even loan game consoles.
The Job Market
An industry growing this fast and pulling in this much revenue is hot for new talent. From coding to writing to art and animation, your library is the perfect place to start researching the ins and outs of the business and what it takes to get your foot in the door. Here is some material to get started with, but there are dozens more. Your reference librarians are also a great resource to get the best information in your hands if you’re having trouble locating what you need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
From health concerns and marketing sex and violence to children to improved hand-eye coordination and visual analysis of information, there’s no shortage of critical material regarding video games. The industry and its products are valid topics for academic consideration at all levels of education, and your library can serve as a research hub.