If I kept a list of “people whose brains I’d love to pick,” Glen Gainer would definitely be at the top–so I was thrilled when he agreed to be interviewed for this post! A high school senior, Lead Volunteer at the Westerville Public Library, and all-around fantastic person, Glen is always ready with new ideas and improvements to established ways of thinking. Read on for his thoughts on gaming, reading, and the future of libraries:
Becky: A lot of research has been done on the connections between video/online gaming and literacy (i.e., if you can’t read, you can’t play; gaming is a form of storytelling; gaming is valuable as collaborative problem solving). In your experience, are these connections valid?
Glen: The first statement is false. If you can’t read, you still can play–some online games like checkers require no knowledge of reading, just knowledge of the rules; other games present the storyline through scenes cut like movies, requiring no reading to understand what’s going on. You don’t even have to read the instruction booklet that comes with the game, since most have a built-in tutorial.
The other two statements are true. Gaming is a form of storytelling. I watched a Portal 2 playthrough on YouTube just for the funny storyline (it is just like watching a movie). Also, people have been using games like Minecraft to literally tell a story. The Bashcraft series is a great example of this: