Gaming is a pastime that encompasses a wide range of activities including video games, board games, pen and paper role playing games, and card games. The diverse nature of gaming and its entry in to mainstream pop culture means that we are seeing more diversity among individuals playing games as one of their primary leisure activities. Individuals and groups that engage in gaming, as well as its positive and negative impacts, have been the focus of a large amount of research in recent years. There is, however, a lack of research regarding the role that games play in the creation and bolstering of communities, especially in the context of libraries.
This paper will look at the role that gaming can have in the creation and building of communities when participation is facilitated by a public library through the provision of games and gaming events. Feedback was obtained by survey during regular opening hours. Information regarding patron’s backgrounds, gaming habits and the impact these had on their decision to engage with other members of the community and the library was gathered and assessed. The findings of this research present a snapshot of the gaming habits of a community of individuals who utilise the services of an urban public library. This will help inform other organisations when they are creating a game collection or expanding an existing one to help them choose titles which promote shared experiences and foster communication between community members. This will in turn assist the library in acting as a hub for community building by using games as a catalyst.
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