Saturday, April 19, 2008

Gaming @ Your Library, April 18, 2008


This past Friday the Old Bridge (NJ) Public Library participated in
the Gaming @ Your Library event with our older adults. We had a great

This was the first event that we've had without the Teens assisting
the seniors and we used this time to get some feedback. Almost 1/2 of
those in attendance are not tech savvy. The ones that were use the
Internet and e-mail on an infrequent basis. Two of those in
attendance noted their their children and grandchildren suggested that
they come and try out the Wii at the Library.

When the older adults first arrived I was playing (and singing) with
the American Idol Karoke. The songs we all decided are more for my
age (baby boomer) than for older adults. We did try a few songs with
the seniors, they enjoyed it, but not everyone wanted to participate
and make a fool out of themselves singing in public.

Next, a staff member brought in Endless Ocean to try with the group.
We did for about 10 minutes and they found it boring.

So, we went to the tried and true best bet, Wii Bowling. That
continues to be the hit with this group.

I am beginning to understand why it continues to be the hit! I think
the reason the Wii sports are the hit is that there is no learning
curve involved. If you know how to bowl and understand the scoring
then you can play. Of course, there is the need to put the spin on
the controller, too! (that's a hint). So, the only learning curve is
how to use the controller. Everyone loves to bowl! But remember to
fasten the cord around your wrist!

We currently have two Wii consoles as part of "Senior Spaces"
project. One was hooked up to a TV monitor and the other (Wii
Bowling) projected using an LCD projector. There were 10 older adults
in attendance for this event.

During May we plan to install a Wii console in our Center for Creative
Learning and Technology, a part of Senior Spaces. Each Thursday we
are planning to invite older adults to come in for one-on-one
training. In June we will have our next open play public session with
the older adults. During the summer we are planning weekly
Intergenerational sessions both for Training and play. And, by
September we are planning to have an "Adults" only evening of play
once a month.

We have recently purchased computer software from Generations Online
that is used with older adults that have littler or no computer
experience to become computer literate. Our goal is to begin to train
seniors that are comfortable with the Wii and move them on to
Generations Online. This will be part of the Intergenerational
activities during the Summer.

Friday was a great day for us as we continue to explore gaming,
technology literacy and older adults here at the Old Bridge Public
Library in NJ. We hope to have some pictures up this week on the blog

Allan M. Kleiman
Assistant Library Director
Old Bridge (NJ) Public Library
732-721-5600, ext. 5042