Monday, October 27, 2008

Gaming in libraries, old school.

When I was a kid, we used to play tag in the library.

This wasn't the usual version of tag where you run around and chase someone, catch him, and shout "Tag! You're it." This was library tag.

The number one rule of library tag was not to get caught playing it. That meant you couldn't get caught by the librarian or by a library patron while running or chasing or doing any of the things one does when playing tag.

Our library was one huge atrium with a second floor overlooking the lower. From three simple positions, the circulation, children's and reference librarians could oversee 94% of the public area.

The back of the elevator was clear acrylic and the stairs were out in the middle of the main floor in the open, not tucked away in the corners or concealed behind doors. If this were WWII or Call of Duty, you'd be a dead man.

So this was slow tag, quiet tag. This was tag that involved every other person in the library because if you got caught misbehaving in the library, you got tossed out. And if you get caught too many times, you might get banned from the library. And what would my mom say when I told her that I couldn't wait in the library, after school, for her to pick me up? I guess she'd say a lot after she caught her breath from beating my ass.

So you could say that the.effing.librarian was an early advocate for gaming in libraries.

Tag (shh) you're (shh) it.