University of Calgary set to debut video game library

The University of Calgary is making space at the library; but not for books. U of C will soon be home to Canada’s largest scholarly collection of video games.

Right now the school is compiling the collection and plans to have their grand opening next fall. Many of the games are available for student perusal already, however, and more are being donated to the collection.

U of C feels that video games have become a medium warranting serious study, and it’s time they get serious academic consideration. From the CBC:

“Most people think of video games as frivolous or just for entertainment or just for fun,” said librarian Jerremie Clyde.

“So bringing them into a library, [you get] the same criticisms you’d have for movies or a television or even fiction — it’s not work, it’s not scholarly, it’s not study — but of course they’re great objects of study.”

The academic community says studying games — and gamers — is a unique way to take a look at our culture.

“If people are interested in talking about feminist theory through looking at something like The Bachelor or looking at Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, then you have to be able to talk about feminist theory in that context,” said communications and culture professor Dawn Johnston.

“It’s no good to say ‘no, we’re going to sit down and talk about things the way we’ve always talked about them.’“

Simon Fraser University has a few video games for study, but the University of Calgary says its will be the first academic library in Canada to have such a full collection.

 I think this is a great move, primarily because of the wide variety of university subjects that video games cover. Criminology? Check. Political science? Check. History? Check.

And of course, video games are a great way to learn Italian.