Friday, June 27, 2008

Intellivision & Atari 2600

Things are still going slow with the game collection, but they should start to pick up in July as I'll finally be able to start purchasing games and systems and hardware and stuff. No worries, everything is still on track for an opening in mid to late August.

In the meanwhile we've received a couple of classic game systems as donations. These are the games from my own childhood!

Last week we got a Mattel Intelivision (with a handful of games):

Intellivision Box


Intellivision & Demon Attack

And then yesterday we received a nice donation of an Atari 2600 Jr. with 20 or so games, most all in their original packaging:

Atari 2600 Jr. Box

Atari 2600 Jr.

Atari 2600 Jr.

Atari 2600 Games

Atari 2600 Game Cartridges

Friday, June 20, 2008

Games Donated (so far)

We're in a bit of a lull on activity for the game collection: Waiting for the fiscal year to kick over so that we have a budget to buy things; waiting for various dominoes to fall in the room renovation; waiting to interview applicants for the manager position; etc.

Monday morning I'm meeting with one of the managers from the electronic cataloging unit to discuss how exactly we're going to catalog these things. Should be interesting! She asked me to give her a list of the donated games we've received, so I figured I'd share:

  • Demon Attack
  • Donkey Kong
  • Las Vegas Poker & Blackjack
  • NFL Football
  • Space Armada
  • Tron Maze-a-Tron

  • 1994 Holiday Lemmings
  • Anyone for Cards?
  • The C.H.A.O.S. Continuum
  • Eagle Eye Mysteries in London
  • King’s Quest V
  • The Labyrinth of Time
  • Lighthouse: The Dark Being
  • MYTH: The Total Codex
  • PGA Tour Golf II
  • Populous II
  • Power Poker
  • Powermonger
  • Sim Farm
  • The Sims
  • Syndicate
  • Theme Park
  • Victor Vector & Yondo: The Vampire’s Coffin

  • Allied General
  • Army Men 3D
  • Bust -A- Move ‘99
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert
  • Croc: Legend of the Gobbos
  • Final Fantasy VII
  • Final Fantasy Tactics
  • Gran Turismo 2
  • King’s Field
  • King’s Field II
  • Medal of Honor
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • NCAA Football 99
  • Panzer General
  • Pro Pinball
  • Pro Pinball: Big Race USA
  • Pro Pinball: Fantastic Journey
  • Rally Cross 2
  • Resident Evil 2
  • Spin Jam
  • Spyro the Dragon
  • Tomb Raider II
  • Tomb Raider III
  • Vandal Hearts
  • Virtual Pool
  • Warcraft II: The Dark Saga

Playstation 2:
  • Escape from Monkey Island
  • Gauntlet: Dark Legacy
  • Gran Turismo 3: A-spec
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game
  • Madden 2001
  • NHL 2001
  • SSX
  • Super Bust-a-Move

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Video Game Room - Stage 2

Things are moving along for our game room.

Here you see the workstation desks being installed:

Desk Installation

Desk Installation

And now the workstations being wired:

Wiring Installation

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Newbie Librarian unConference Tomorrow

I'll be speaking as part of a panel at tomorrow's Newbie Librarian unConference at the Southfield (MI) Public Library. My plan for my portion of the panel is to use the Computer & Video Game Archive at the library as an object example, detailing the various skills I have employed in developing the collection: What did I learn back in library school that I never thought I'd have to use, but did? What didn't I learn in school, but had to do? And so on.

The unconference runs all day; my panel starts at 2:30.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


This is a prototype wordmark for the game archive, designed by our most excellent Library Communications Specialist, Liene Karels. Besides going on promotional materials and the like, we'll also have it stenciled on the new glass wall for the archive room.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

We're Hiring!

Meant to mention this earlier....

We are hiring for the position of the Computer & Video Game Archive Manager at the library. This is a staff position, non-professional, non-technical. Basically it is to manage the day-to-day activities of the archive, including staffing the service desk, troubleshooting basic problems, managing a couple of student employees, etc. For the complete posting, go to Careers at the University of Michigan, select the appropriate job search section, and look for posting #20959. The posting is open until the end of the week.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Education Arcade at MIT

With this blog I hope to not only talk about our upcoming Computer & Video Game Archive here at the MLibrary, but also document my exploration into the relatively-new-to-me world of games in the academy.

First up is The Education Arcade at MIT. Growing out of their Games-to-Teach Project in the early years of this century, The Education Arcade does a couple of things:

First, they do research into the role of games in education, what works and what doesn't. And like all good researchers they publish and talk about their results.

Second, they take what they've learned and apply it to practice, developing games that attempt to both teach and entertain.

The Education Arcade now has a blog to which its researchers contribute. The director of the project, Eric Klopfer, has a brand new book: Augmented Learning: Research and Design of Mobile Educational Games from MIT Press.

Friday, June 6, 2008

We Want Your Videogames!

One of the ways we plan on growing the video game archive is through in-kind donations. How many people have old game consoles taking up space in the basement, looking for a good home? Quite a few, we think, and we can offer that good home to them!

I have a page up on our Website with details on what we're looking for and who to contact.

Here are a few of the things we've received so far:

PlayStation and games
PlayStation (One) and assorted games, anonymously donated in a large paper bag.

PlayStation 2
A PlayStation 2 and assorted games. The box underneath has another PS1 & games. Off to the right is a bag full of old Macintosh games.

TRS-80 Color Computer box
A Radio Shack TRS-80 Color Computer, ca. 1981. This is the box...

TRS-80 Color Computer
...and here's the computer. Ooooo. Originally shipped with 4K of memory, but the previous owner upgraded it to a whopping 16K!

Microsoft Joystick
An original MicroSoft force-feedback joystick controller. With it's very own power source!

More to come as we get more in...

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Our Original Collection Plan

I thought it might be interesting to share our collection plan for the video game collection. Below you'll find a large portion of the original collection plan that we wrote last November. A few things have changed since then as far as specifics, but it's still largely what we plan to do.

Collection Plan - Computer and Video Game Archive


Although long considered just another facet of entertainment culture, computer and video games (hereafter: games, or CVG) have over the past several years become an interest of academic study. A true interdisciplinary field, games touch upon aspects of computer science, art & design, communications studies, sociology, and more.

Just as films are used outside of film studies, we anticipate that in coming years games will be of interest in an even wider range of academic disciplines.

In addition, lessons from games are beginning to be looked at as useful in the development of educational technology.

With its growing commitment to interdisciplinary studies and the growing faculty interest in games, U-M seems ripe for the development of a games archive.

With collections and subject expertise in both art & computer science, the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library is a logical place for such a collection to be based. In addition, the proximity and working relationships that AAEL has with CAEN and the Digital Media Commons make the Duderstadt Center uniquely suited in its information commons role to host such an archive.


The CVG Archive seeks to collect materials relating to games for the purpose of academic inquiry, including but not limited to: programming and technology; artistic and literary expression; social and cultural impact; instruction and education.


Computer Games: Games that are played using a multi-purpose personal computer
Video Games: Games that are played using a dedicated gaming system


The CVG Archive will collect:
  • Games for current generation game systems and computer platforms, with a preference for games which are critically lauded, innovative, or important.
  • Games for previous game systems and computer platforms which are of historical significance.
  • Games developed at the University of Michigan
  • Hardware on which to run games, both current and historical
  • Support material: books on games, programming, playing guides, history & sociology of games, etc.

Space & Access

A dedicated room for the gaming archive will be maintained. This space will have:
  1. Shelving for game cases/boxes. Due to the differing sizes of game cases and boxes, the shelving will need to be flexible
  2. Storage for extra controllers and equipment
  3. Service desk for customer service
  4. Gaming stations. Each gaming station will have room for two players to sit side-by-side. Headphones available/required:
    • Current-Generation: With a PS3, X-Box 360, Wii; hooked up to a smallish (19-20") flat panel HDTV
    • Previous-generation: With a PS2, X-Box, GameCube; hooked up to a 20" CRT
    • Classic consoles: Intellivision, Atari 2600, others; hooked up to a 20" CRT
    • PC Gaming: A high-end gaming PC with a 24" flat panel display.
    • Classic computer games: An Apple IIe, a Commodore 64, a Mac SE/30, and an ‘old-school’ (DOS?) PC.
  5. Active Gaming Space: Space with room enough for a couple of DDR pads on the floor. A Wii, PS3, X-Box 360 hooked up to a wall mounted large HDTV (hardware shared with gaming station). This will be space for ‘active’ games or for larger groups to sit and play.
  6. Access to the CVG space will be restricted to available hours and by appointment.

Games will be for in-house use and will not circulate, so as to ensure availability for research use. (The Undergraduate Library is considering a circulating gaming collection.)

Popular computer games will be pre-loaded onto the gaming PCs; others may need to be installed by an attendant.

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Video Game Room - Stage 1

As I mentioned in my previous post, we're creating a computer & video game archive at the library. This will be a working archive, with the various game systems set up and available for use.

We're converting a space for the game room. Previously it was used for photocopiers and as a sorting area for bound journals. Those elements have been moved elsewhere in the library, and now we have a big empty space:

Video Game Room - Empty & Waiting

Video Game Room - Empty & Waiting

Video Game Room - Empty & Waiting

Video Game Room - Empty & Waiting

The fans are there because the carpet had been recently cleaned; it was wet and smelled a bit of carpet-cleaner.

I wish I'd remembered to take pictures before the copiers and shelves were moved out, so you could see the transformation from the start.

Next up will be the installation of the furniture, the wiring for networking and electricity, and then we're putting in a wall.

More pics to come as things develop...

What's with this blog?

Hi! My name's Dave. I'm a librarian at the University of Michigan, and this is my new blog.

The focus of this blog will be on computer and video games in libraries, specifically academic libraries. Often even more specifically, my library.

That's because we're preparing to open a Computer and Video Game Archive at my library, the University of Michigan Art, Architecture & Engineering Library, on the second floor of the Duderstadt Center on North Campus. We don't have a lot of the details nailed down yet, although I'll be sharing what we've got over the next few days. We hope to do a soft open in August, with a Grand Opening later in the fall.

My intent with this blog is to use our experiences here as a springboard to also talk about the larger issue of academic interest in computer & video games.

Stay Tuned!