MMOG: An Overview of the Massively Multiplayer Online Game Phenomenon

Main Page - Introduction
Contexts for Libraries
What are MMOGs?
The Development of MMOGs
Issues and Discourses
Works Cited
About the Author

Contexts for Libraries

        On a surface level, it may seem a moot point for librarians to discuss the details of computer games. Few libraries lend out computer game software - the computer equipment required to run games such as MMOGs may be vast, the software is expensive to purchase and easily damaged, and many librarians feel that it is not within their collection mandate to provide or make available such forms of electronic entertainment. Even though a library may not distribute MMOGs or computer games of any sort, the amount of print material related to these games is considerable and may be in demand by patrons. MMOGs such as World of Warcraft and Guild Wars have printed game and strategy guides to help players, while games like EverQuest are complemented not only by guidebooks for non-electronic tabletop games, but also with multiple series of novels based on the game itself. Furthermore, interest in pop culture issues includes discourse concerning computer games. Just as a librarian may encounter patrons seeking strategy guides to help improve their game experience, so too may librarians encounter patrons curious about topics such as computer game addiction, cyber-crime, and representations of violence in the media. Considering the popularity of these games among young people, libraries with a youth patron population will likely experience a higher demand for information relevant to computer games and game-related issues. Without a basic understanding of game genres, librarians may find answering questions and locating appropriate resources difficult for the enthusiastic fan and concerned consumer alike.

Created by Lauren de Bruin
School of Library and Information Studies
University of Alberta
Last updated on March 8, 2006.