Archive for the 'gaming' Category

Things are looking good for our Guild! We have been having quite a lot of fun playing and chatting and I can happily report that there are now 55 characters in our happy little library-centric guild. A good estimate is that these characters are represented by 35-40 different people (including three from Australia. Hello mates!). By my own unscientific estimation I would say that about 2/3 of the characters would be considered “regular” Guild players.

If you are interested in giving the game a shot you might want to consider dropping me a line first. If you do that I will hook you up with the refer a friend program with someone in our guild. It will make the game a lot easier for you and will also get you and your Guild partner and bunch of cool extras that really add up. Also, if you have a partner or significant other, my strong advice is to play together. WoW can be a lot of fun as a team and we’ve already seen couples in the guild having a great time together helping each other (and benefiting from Refer-a-Friend for sure *ahem* Rosz!) And with that, we bring you…pretty pictures!

Here is a nifty logo some of us will soon be wearing on t-shirts:
WoW Libraries and Librarians Libraryrogue Shirt

And here are some stats for the guild. You’ll need to click to see the larger version if you are interested in more details. More female characters and plenty of hunters. Lots of other fun details here if you are so inclined. :)
Libraries and Librarians WoW Guild Stats October 2008

There are also a ton of screen shots that guild members have been taking over the last several months. You can find that pool of images here. Enjoy!

Libraryman

PAX 2008

Yesterday was a glorious geek out day for me here is Seattle as I took most of the day to attend the Penny Arcade Expo (aka PAX). Here’s what PAX is:
“PAX is a three-day game festival for tabletop, videogame, and PC gamers. We call it a festival because in addition to dedicated tournaments and freeplay areas we’ve got nerdcore concerts, panel discussions, the weekend-long Omegathon event, and an exhibitor hall filled with booths displaying the latest from top game publishers and developers. Even with all this amazing content the best part of PAX is hanging out with other people who know their shit when it comes to games.”

Along with a growing chorus of library professionals and educators, I believe the connections between gaming, community, technology, learning and libraries are gearing up for even more convergence and practical application. So besides just general geeking out and feeling completely comfortable (even at the X-Box presentation) all day, I attended a few sessions and I met some very brilliant, happy, informed and sometimes extravagantly decorated people.

So if you were of the ilk that enjoys these sorts of activities then you were in hog heaven. In know Chad from Hidden Peanuts was there too and I imagine he’ll be talking about it quite a bit. For now, here are some pictures to show you what my Sunday at PAX was like (click on them for larger images if you like):
Eeep! Zombies! PAX08

PAX Gaming and Community Panel
(l to r) Nelson Rodriguez – Gamerscore Blog, Nick Pulee – EvilAvatar.com, Christa Phillips – XBL Community Manager (Gamerchix is part of her scene), Flynn DeMarco – GayGamer.net, David Abram – CheapAssGamer.com.
This panel was my favorite event at the conference. Community is what makes it work, gaming, libraries or otherwise. It was great to hear people doing the same type of work, confirming ideas and sharing. Very good stuff.

Everybody Loves Wil Wheaton @ PAX08
To say Wil Wheaton was a big draw is an understatement. Most folks just know him this way, but he is not really that. He’s more like this.

What else would you expect to see at an event like this?
PAX08 SW Happens

She said something about wanting to steal my soul, but I was all, “Nah, let’s just take a picture together.”
PAX08 whitey

If you like Xbox, you may know this guy as Major Nelson:
PAX08 Major Nelson 2

WoW folks will dig this sneak peek shot:
PAX08 WoW Preview
(You can join our Libraries and Librarians guild btw, WoWing lib peeps!)

Party on, PAX!
PAX08 1
See you next year. :)

—————-
Now playing: Dean Gray – Greenday Massacre

    Video is up and linked below!

Song available for download very soon through a link on
David Lee King’s web page
!

There is a slew of Libraryland folks singing along in the video (mostly in the second half). Thank you guys!

Here is “hi-fi sci-fi library”…behind the music!

Several months ago LITA asked me to be one of their keynote speakers at their upcoming National Forum (October 16-19). This made me happy, proud, excited and, well, a little nervous. It also left me wondering…what should the theme of my presentation be? Hmmm… LITA, eh? The Library and Information Technology Association of the American Library Association? Well, lets see…I travel all over the place talking about libraries, library futures and emerging technology, right? And I believe we are in the midst of a sea change in library, culture, community and info services. And I am convinced there are things libraries need to do *right now* to ensure our relevance going forward. And while we are generally smart enough, we surely don’t get rich from our jobs…yet we keep at it. So we need some inspiration AND amusement! We all work so hard and we keep on believing that libraries will and MUST endure as society evolves. So why not talk about libraries present and future in light of current tech, future tech, academic futurism and, yes, science fiction! But what might get people’s toes tapping before the presentation? Yep! A groovy library song! A song that shares the same name as that upcoming presentation :”hi-fi sci-fi library”!

As far as I am concerned, what the world needs is a collection of “hi-fi sci-fi libraries”. And I was so excited about this idea that I just had to sing it out loud! But alas, I know how to play only the most basic of notes on the most basic of instruments. Soooo, I approached my most helpful and generous Libraryland buddy (and joint author of the “Internet Spotlight” column in each issue of Public Libraries Magazine), David Lee King. You see, before he worked in Libraryland, David worked in Nashville, in the music industry. And as you might imagine, David is also a fairly accomplished musician and producer (though he is far too humble to admit that to most folks despite his great talent and ability).

So I said to David: “David, I want to make a song and a video for this LITA presentation I am doing in the Fall. Something that both you and I could do together and can both believe in and get behind. I’m slightly nervous about this presentation for some reason, but I also see it as a GREAT opportunity to help get the word out about what we both believe in when it comes to society, library futures and technology. I have some basic song ideas and all the lyrics ready. Would you like to help me make a song and a video?”

And David, being the generous and thoughtful friend that he is said “Of course!”. Actually, he said something like “Well I like the idea for sure. Why don’t you write down your ideas and lyrics, send them to me and we might be able to work on it once things settle down a bit.” And, of course, things never did settle down, for either of us. So, slowly but surely we worked on it like a hobby for a few months.

Over the course of those months David and I sent musical ideas and lyrics and rhythmical concepts back and forth. Then, I arranged to spend a day with David in Kansas recording our song. No, it wasn’t easy. But yes, we actually DID IT! And lo and behold, one day of recording later….we had our song. AND a few goofy video files! So..we were really on our way!

With the song complete, it was time to make the video. And since David had done 85% of the musical work, it seemed only fair that *I* (non-Mac owner that I am btw) handle the video making responsibilities.

So I dove in. And, well, it took a couple of weeks. Actaully, it took almost a month. And it took contributions from librarians all across the planet. Literally! BUT…we now have a video. And it is, in my opinion, a pretty decent video. Sure, it is goofy! But it is also just as hopeful and honest as it is goofy.

And let me tell you…it was quite a project. A project involving weeks of editing and nearly 100 different video and audio files. Is it perfect? Nah! Is it a labor of love for Libraryland? Completely. And heck, some of you folks reading this might even be in the thing,lip syncing along to the jaunty little “hi-fi sci-fi LIBRARY!!” chorus.

So, on behalf of David and I, THANK YOU! Thank you so much to the folks that contributed to this video! We both hope it provides some inspiration and energy to the quest we are all on as library professionals as we strive to help libraries realize their unparalleled potential in this crazy, cool and even sometimes scary, hi-fi sci-fi world we all now live in.

Rock on, Libraryland! We hope you enjoy it!

-Michael

—————
Now playing: David Lee King & Michael Porter – hi-fi sci-fi library

Well, the Libraries and Librarians Guild is off to a smashing start with a very nice group forming and getting to know each other. We even have members from three countries already (US, Australia and Canada)! And tonight we went on our first little group run together, doing some escorting, leveling and getting flight paths (I know that may sound like gibberish to some that don’t play the game, sorry ’bout that). Along the way we stopped and took some shots to share with everyone out there in Libraryland. Remember, you are welcome to join the guild even as a very casual player.

There are actually a ton of libraries in this game. This is our group shot at the library in Ironforge (that’s a big city in WoW with one of the biggest libraries as well):
Libraries and Librarians Guild Member In the Ironforge Library

Outside the main entrance to Ironforge, the Libraries and Librarians guild members stop for a group photo:
Libraries and Librarians WarCraft Guild Group Photo

Libraries and Librarians guild members move in a group to protect each other along a particularly nasty stretch of road:
WoW Libraries and Librarians Guild Run 1

Michael Porter (aka Libraryman) and Greg Schwartz (aka Planet Neutral) strike a rather handsome in-game pose for posterity. I do not own that outfit in real life:
WoW! Libraryman and Pneutral

And remember: If you play WoW or even just want to try it our and you work in, for, or with Libraryland, you can now join the Libraries and Librarians Guild. We are new, but we already have a substantial Guild web site complete with a forum (very good in Wow-land). And a bank. In fact, we have a bank with three tabs and daily pulls for repairs (that is also quite good in WoW-land). Heck we even have an optional free (to you) Guild tabard (sort of like a t-shirt you wear in the game).

World of Warcraft is the largest “Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game” in the world. It has 10 million plus subscribers and is, in addition to being a blast and a lovely distraction, gloriously fun and addictive to many. And now, finally, WE (Libraries and Librarians) have a guild. If you play WoW and work in, for, or with Libraryland, you can now join the Libraries and Librarians Guild. We are new, but we already have a substantial Guild web site complete with a forum (very good in Wow-land). And a bank. In fact, we have a bank with three tabs and daily pulls for repairs (that is also quite good in WoW-land). Heck we even have an optional free (to you) Guild tabard (sort of like a t-shirt you wear in the game).
Libraries and Librarians WoW Guild Bank
And even without much of an official roll out, as of yesterday we already have a nice collection of members. In fact, just yesterday I took a happy little screen shot of our first Guild chat ever:
The 1st WoW Libraries and Librarians Guild: First Guild chat ever - July 23, 2008
So if you play Wow and have wanted to play with other library professionals, this could be the place for you. And if you have never played a gigantic on-line game, this may be the best opportunity you’ve ever had to give it a whirl. You’ll have to download the game to your PC or Mac (and have a machine that is powerful enough to play the game of course). And yes, there is a learning curve. But once you catch on, and you have a posse of friends to help you along (aka a Guild like ours) you may very well find yourself understanding more vividly then you might have ever imagined just what all this “Gaming and Libraries” talk is all about.

So join us! We’ll be there waiting to show you the ropes…and chat…and kill bad guys! Along the way, you’ll likely grok the whole online community/gaming/libraries thing just a little bit more, and have a blast while you’re at it. In fact, consider this your invitation to do exactly that!

Note: If you want to join this guild you must be on the Aerie Peak -US server. If you are a new player be sure to pick that server! Also, if you are creating a toon (new character) or transferring an existing character to join this guild, be sure you put it on this server (Aerie Peak – US)!!!

Thanks and see you soon in WoWland!

Libraryman WoW lvl62 crop