Traveling the Multiverse

Aka Ironyca Stood in the Fire – gaming blog

New Job – Enter the Library

Last month I started a new job at the Roskilde Public Library.

You may know about Roskilde from the famous music festival – Roskilde Festival. Roskilde is about 20 mins in train from Copenhagen, or as my friend so accurately described it – Roskilde is like a smaller Copenhagen outside of Copenhagen.

Sadly it’s only temporary, but I’ll doing a mixture of things there. For once, I’m being trained as a librarian, which I’m very satisfied with. When having a very knowledge-heavy academic education, you sometimes find your skills hard to define, they are intangible. You are good at producing, extracting and handling knowledge, but it’s not always pragmatic enough, and sometimes you wish you were able to just make a thing, an actual THING.

Since I did my degree in games studies, of course the THING people make are games, and I’d love to be able to, but it’s a slow learning process, and my motivation to learn how to code fluctuates. However, getting some hands on experience with librarian work suits my need for something more tangible. Also people can relate to it! Contrary what my family calls ‘the game thing you do’.

Besides the librarian mentorship, I am also being part of various projects, all of which I’m very excited about because they either involve games or more broadly children’s lives and play.

Projects I’m currently active in:

1: In a few weeks during the school vacations I’ll be introducing public play sessions at the library. It’s something I requested doing myself and it’s actually really simple. I’ll just need to set up a game called Johann Sebastian Joust somewhere spacious, get it going and hope it reaches momentum. It’s a multiplayer face-to-face party game, where playing becomes a performance. I love this game and always recommend it!

jsjoust-photo01

 

2: I’ve been included a little on the sideline of this satellite project, which has its offices at the library. It’s a website/forum for tweens managed and edited by children’s librarians featuring books, movies, music and games.

3: This week I’ll be livestreaming/recording/adminning a Minecraft competition with 32 competing school classes. This is in relation to the children’s library website mentioned above. I’m not sure the computer I’ve been given for this task can actually handle running a livestream…

4: I’m part of a team responsible for gathering and analyzing empirical data on what children want to do in their vacation. The purpose is for the library to be able to offer better activities for them and increase participation. In doing this work so far, I’ve realized that all my methodology training now comes in handy – very handy. We’ll be doing cultural probes amongst others, never done those before, will be exciting!

5: I’m also preparing to start up a gaming club/game-cafe at the library. I really want this to happen, but it might be a very amputated endeavor without good PC’s.

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6 comments on “New Job – Enter the Library

  1. Vanessa Anne Blaylock
    October 5, 2014

    New job! Congratulations!

    And it’s such an interesting time for libraries! All the info & knowledge on the net has questioned some of the traditional functions of The Library. Meanwhile so many voices have risen up for the ongoing importance of The Library. I hope out of this time libraries will ultimately find their truest voice.

    Why Libraries [still] Matter, by Jonathan Zittrain:
    View story at Medium.com

    Why Libraries Matter More than Ever in the Age of Google, by John Palfrey:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/0465042996/ref=cm_sw_r_tw_dp_X8kmub1CNSMPH#

    3: This week I’ll be livestreaming/recording/adminning a Minecraft competition — DUH! It’s not called “A WoW blog about Minecraft” for nothing!!

    Congrats Ms. Lee! Hope you have a great experience!

    • Ironyca
      October 5, 2014

      Oh I agree that libraries are looking at both huge difficulties but also potential. I’ve always been fond of them, as is probably evident from working in them for years.

      Here in Denmark they have started building Community Centers, which besides the library include fx local sports halls and other citizens spaces. It’s interesting, but extremely politically controlled, which can be tricky. At the library they say that the library is often seen as the positive face of the municipality. It is very much an important space for local life and initiative and central to the social cohesion overall.

      • Vanessa Anne Blaylock
        October 6, 2014

        I guess libraries are often connected to political space. I’ve been thinking a lot about space in the sense that in the physical world we have “Public Space” and “Private Space,” but on the Internet we ONLY have “Private Space” even though so much of the private space online works hard to pretend to look like public space.

        Just as a shopping mall does not have the freedom that a public park does, so too Facebook (obviously!) does not have the freedom of a public park. Facebook, like a shopping mall, is a highly controlled space where we are seduced into desiring precisely what the “Platform” (ie Facebook or Shopping Mall) owner wants us to desire.

        We have this sense, or illusion of freedom, and the power of all the ideas and speech that the net affords, yet we spend our virtual lives hopping from the controlled space of Facebook to the controlled space of Google+ to the controlled space of LinkedIn. Is the physical world any better? Hmm… well… I hope libraries can continue to be more empowering than controlling.

  2. Vanessa Anne Blaylock
    October 29, 2014

    What happened to your theme? Am I even on the right website? Whoa! From the darkness to the light?

    I want to start a new “Field Guide to Avatars: avatars in their natural habitat”. I feel like it’d be a lot richer if it included avatars from many geographic ranges (virtual worlds) rather than just the one continent I happen to know best.

    But just doing SL avatars already feels entirely daunting! To do WoW or Minecraft or LOTRO or Terra etc… IDK… maybe I’m overthinking it…

    Anyway, I’m super excited about this idea! But confused about the scope? Should the first “book” in the series be on one world? Should I try to cover other worlds myself, perhaps with light overviews? Telling a Minecraft Avatar from a WoW Avatar shouldn’t be too hard! Should I try to enlist regional experts to contribute content or offer guided field tours to collect data?

    haha

    I’m confused!

    Any thought / suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    And… How’s it going??

    • Ironyca
      October 30, 2014

      Hey Vaneeesa
      It’s going great and yeah I wanted a different lay out, more magazine styled. I might have to go back and change the colors of certain headlines. Yellow on white might not be so good. Preferable I’d want this theme in black, but I’d need the CSS upgrade to do it. I love it when such switches are built into the theme, but for now, I’m on the light side…. for now…

      Field guide to avatars, hmm. What’s the purpose or the content of your idea? Like how would one do a SL avatar field guide?

      • Vanessa Anne Blaylock
        October 31, 2014

        It’ll be a lot clearer once I get a few posts up! I’m working on the first one now. But anyway, the site is here:
        http://AvatarField.Guide

        I’m getting progressively more excited about this project. I think it could be the nexus of many ideas. It can be playful and sarcastic and silly and stupid… but also, I think, fundamentally empowering and legitimizing at the same time. I’ve been thinking about avatar culture and I think the Field Guide might be the right way to do it.

        I think I’ve sort of solved the Worlds issue. The focus won’t be on “This is a Wow Avatar” or “This is an SL avatar.” Instead the focus will be on species. Many species might only be found in Northern Europe or Southern Africa, but that’s covered in the “habitat range” section. And of course lots of worlds have Noob Avatars, Avatars that like to dance, Troll avatars, etc.

        So it might start with a bit of SL-centric-ness since that’s what I know best, but that won’t be that focal since it’s really looking at species and habitat is just one of the characteristics. I’m in a little bit over my head with all this and I’m way not an ornithologist, natural historian, or wildlife conservationist, but I think it can be breezy and fun and I’ll probably learn as I go.

        I’ve also been thinking a lot about Wonder Cabinets and Cornell Boxes. These are such intense sites of Attention (hard to come by in an age of abundance) and preciousness and specialness, The also hail from that Victorian-ish fascination with the natural world and science as a fascination and hobby.

        It (finally) occurs to me that Field Guides encompass ALL of that! They are the obsession of curious minds and leisure rich, but also a sort of “taxonomy porn” that I think shares a lot with the joy, obsession, and perhaps even fetishization of wonder cabinets.

        As for your site’s new look – it looks great – but wow, just so shockingly different! On thought (sez the girl with way too many websites) is to keep it as it was… and create a new site for new work. There’s no “right” or better answer here, but there’s something interesting in letting the document of past experiences keep it’s own integrity. IDK that’s sort of what I was doing with iRez when all the other websites started popping up, but that’s kind of where it’s finding itself.

        As for colors & theme upgrades, I’m sure you know all this, but there’s 2 flavors of WP, sometimes referred to as “WP.com” and “WP.org”. WP (WP.org) is open source software and you can do anything you want with it without paying anybody anything. Except most peeps don’t have web servers in their bedrooms, so while WP is free, you’d probably have to pay for some web hosting. Another (tumblr or blogger like) option is to let somebody host it for you, enter WP.com a “free” or “freemium” service from a company called Automattic.

        With the freemium model, you can have a free site forever. But you can also pay them for a URL or Design Stuff or to Turn Ads off, etc. Even if you pay for all of those things, it’s still not very expensive and IM(not so)HO Automattic’s servers are way faster than a crappy host like BlueHost.

        Anyway, if you were “self hosted” on the web server of your choice, then you wouldn’t pay anybody anything for “custom design” it’d just work that way. But for most peeps, letting Automattic handle the site for you is worth the limitations or the upgrade pricing.

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This entry was posted on October 4, 2014 by in Personal and tagged , , , , , , .

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