Miami University is looking to embrace the popularity of the digital age by adding a game room to King Library.
Officials at King Library are in the planning stages of setting up a game room in the library that would focus on teaching students to become more prepared for the work world. The room is scheduled to open in early 2009.
According to Lisa Santucci, head of and applied technician in King Library, the room will have games set up in modular units with room for interactive media studies (IMS) students to conduct group work. The room will consist of 3D animation games for computers and systems like Playstation and X-box.
According to Santucci, the library is looking to fund the room through the student technology fee, which is included in every student’s tuition.
Santucci said the library will fund the rest of the collection, including gaming magazines, books, headphones and interactive media games.
According to Santucci, the materials in the game room will be open to the entire student body, but the room will be used for IMS students and faculty for instructional purposes.
Originally, students will have the opportunity to develop games for the room, but the the final games would most likely be professionally developed, according to Judith Sessions, dean of libraries.
“This is not a game room to just go and play,” Sessions said. “It is for educational purposes.”
Sessions said the library is working with Armstrong Interactive Media Studies, an institute established from funds donated by alumni and businesses.
According to Sessions, the Armstrong group will write the programs that would end up in the game room.
“The idea of the room is to support the curriculum,” Santucci said. “The space will be added to reflect the curriculum of interactive media studies and serve as a place for group projects, research and development space.”
Santucci said she recently visited the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to observe the library’s interactive media gaming room. Santucci said she liked the way the space was designed and will use it as a model for Miami’s room.
Santucci said she hopes this model will prove to be very successful within King Library. She said the room is planned on the ground floor.
“This will not take away from any student space or existing services with in the library,” Santucci said.
Santucci said Miami is also looking to provide a space that reflects interactive media studies just as the CIM lab serves as place for multimedia students.
According to Santucci, the official name of the library’s game rooms will be kept under wraps until it’s opening.
Since the idea is such a new concept to Miami’s campus, there are still opponents to the idea. One student said the library is not an appropriate setting for gaming research.
Sophomore Jackie Schliemann said she did not like the idea of a game room.
“Students do not have time to play games and … if they did get free time, they would not spend it playing educational games,” Schliemann said.