Video Game Collection Questions

Two years ago, I wrote a post on taking over collection development for the Young Adult video game collection at my library. A few things have changed since then, and some questions emerged which I thought it might be helpful to answer here.

In the last year, I've been able to grow the video game collection at this location (kept behind the desk for security reasons) to a modest number of games. This means that when people come in looking for games I at least have something to show them to confirm that we do order games. Sometimes managing a collection that's almost always circulating--and therefore intangible--is hard to market to patrons. I periodically remind my co-workers that we do have video games in the collection, and I keep my ears open when patrons are at the circulation desk. There's been more than one occasion that I've sprinted over there to let patrons know what we have and guide them through the process of putting games at other locations on hold. The major roadblock I run in to is that I'm not allowed to buy the games that seemingly are most in demand, because they are rated M for Mature and it's a Young Adult collection. On the flip side, these are also the games that are most likely to be stolen, so . . . 

YA Video Game Programming

One of our branches has a Wii and is interested in doing YA programming that involves gaming sessions. I asked Twitter to recommend the best Wii games for teen programs, and these were the results:

Super Smash Brothers Brawl
Mario Kart
Just Dance
Wii Sports

People noted that the teens liked games that were fast-paced and multi-player. Getting copies of some of the older games might be tricky, unless you have petty cash and can visit a nearby game store. Most of the list above weren't available in Ingram or at the AV Café, which we use to order games. Our branch is getting a standard Wii, but the Wii U console has now been available for over a year. In light of that, here's a list of multi-player games for the Wii U:

Sonic and All-Stars Racing Transformed
Super Mario 3D World
New Super Mario Bros U
Rayman Legends

Platform Changes

The reality of platform changes leads us neatly to our other question, which came from Heather on Twitter:
Both Michelle and I answered this question, which has recently become an issue with the release of the Xbox One and Playstation 4 consoles. Our general consensus was that anyone beginning or continuing development for a new video game collection at their library should not disregard the earlier versions of gaming platforms. 
Unfortunately, the new Xbox and Playstation consoles are not currently backward compatible (though PS4 will be, for a price) and therefore can not play games from earlier versions. The Wii U is backward compatible and can play Wii games. Thank you, Nintendo! It would be ideal if the next-gen models were backward compatible, so that patrons with the new consoles could play the older games we buy, but that's not how these companies make their money. Your patrons will be interested in borrowing games for the new consoles, but unless your library is in an extremely wealthy locale, it will be some time before the majority of your patrons are exclusively playing next-generation consoles.

Late last year, I started adding Xbox One and Playstation 4 games to the library's collection by ordering duplicates of the most (projected to be) popular games for Xbox 360 and PS3 formats. If you're ordering new games for you library, continue buying last-generation games for the next several years, at least past the point where they are no longer manufacturing the most popular games in both formats. It was only recently that it was no longer possible for me to purchase Playstation 2 games new (a format some of my patrons still request and check out).

After a year, check the circulation of the PS3 vs. the PS4 version of the same game--assuming both stay in circulation--that may tell you something about what your patrons prefer. And whenever I have someone at the desk to place video game holds, I always ask them what they'd like to see in the collection.

Do you have any burning video game collection questions?


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