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Xbox and Wii and PS2 … oh my!

We’ve added a new collection! At last we are entering the world of video games, and now have a small collection of games for Xbox 360, Wii, and PlayStation 3. You can search these games in our catalog by searching the subject ”video games”, or just look at the collection which is located next to the Science Fiction book shelves. There are some particular rules for the video game collection. You will need to take the empty case up to the circulation desk in order to pick up the game to check out. Loan periods will be one week. There will be a limit of six games checked out at one time.

Our staff video game guru, Nick, is sharing what he knows about the gaming world in today’s blog, as well as some descriptions of a couple of our new games. Let us know what games you would like us to add!

“Video games are a curious form of entertainment; they offer the chance for anyone to travel to previously unknown worlds, just like with books, but unlike books, players have the chance to interact, explore, and generally wander about these places as far as the game permits. However, the story that a game tries to tell is often disrupted by the need to include certain game play features like combat, puzzle solving, and the like that sometimes smoothly blend into the story, and at other times seriously disrupt it. As the technology behind video games has continued to advance it has become easier for video game designers to create games that provide more opportunity for both sets of players to participate in a fully engaging experience. It is these sorts of games that provide the core of our new video game collection. It was important to pick titles that offer just the right balance between engrossing stories and the larger than life experiences that make games fun.

Here are two notable titles:

Alan Wake – Remedy Entertainment’s Xbox 360 exclusive is a game that I knew absolutely had to be in the collection here because at its core Alan Wake is a story about the force of imagination and how it can sway someone to great heights and to terrible depths. Alan Wake is an author currently suffering from a severe case of writer’s block, and his wife decides to plan a trip to the small town of Bright Falls where a terrible force awaits. Alan finds himself ensnared by this dark force, his imagination used as the engine that will allow the dark force to corrupt the entire town, and Alan fights back using the only weapon he has. He creates just enough slippage in the narrative that he can write in his own ending, not the ending he was being forced to write. In addition, the game has a highly potent atmosphere, moments both memorable and terrifying, and characters that the player cares about.

Mass Effect Trilogy – This is the big one; Mass Effect has captured the imagination of thousands, perhaps millions, of gamers all around the world. In it you play Commander Shepard, a Marine officer with the Systems Alliance, who is drawn into a conspiracy that can result in the destruction of the whole galaxy if it is not stopped. The brilliance behind this series is that it offers players so many ways to make the story their own; what their characters look like, the decisions that they can make, and who their character can fall in love with. What is even more impressive is that each choice made alters what happens in the next game, and the game after that which takes the player into and endgame that is uniquely their own. Bioware has created something truly special with this series, a great leap forward in the bridge that divides a great story from what makes a great game.”

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