Colorado Springs libraries to offer video games

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The library district for Colorado Springs and El Paso County will begin offering video games for
check out starting Sunday.

The move announced on Wednesday by the Pikes Peak Library District follows a growing number of libraries offering games across the country, though the American Library Association could not provide firm numbers. Pikes Peak will offer games for Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC games that must be returned within a week.

Jenny Levine of the library association says video games require quick interpretation of data that builds literacy in finding patterns in a rapid sequence. She says such skills are necessary in many 21st century white-collar jobs.

The library district’s associate director of public services knows that a lot of nongamers see video games as a waste of time, or worse, a distraction from reading. So she’s armed with a slew of facts to support the notion that, in fact, video games advance the library’s mission:

• Eighty colleges offer courses in game design or theory.
• Studies indicate that gamers are likely to be better drivers, soldiers and surgeons.
• Many games require reading and problem-solving skills.

Local libraries will start circulation of video games on Sunday, joining a list of dozens of library systems throughout the country that lend games. There will be games for Wii, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and some for the PC. They must be returned within a week or they’ll rack up late fees.

You can place holds on the games. They can be renewed if there are no holds. You can only check out one at a time.

No games rated for “Mature Audiences” will be in the collection.

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