Thursday, December 22, 2011

Holiday Break

We will be closed for the rest of the holidays and plan on resuming our normal hours on the first day of classes next year, January 4th.

Have a great break!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Kinect Used for Terrain Imaging

A recent Wired article highlights the use of the Kinect as a terrain imaging tool, to capture data for anything from glaciers to asteroids.

According to Tedesco, one of the scientists mentioned in the article, the Kinect works as a much more affordable way to capture the kind of data they need. It also helps inspire students to do related research because the Kinect is a tool that they're likely already familiar with, and doesn't seem as imposing as more complicated imaging equipment.

Read more about their use of the Kinect here.

Friday, December 16, 2011

International Games Innovation Conference - Call for Papers

The Fourth International Games Innovation Conference is accepting submissions for their next conference taking place in September 2012. 

According to their website, the conference is "a platform for disseminating peer-reviewed papers that describe innovative research and development of game technologies. Participation from academia, industry and government are welcome."

They are seeking "short papers (4 pages), long papers (5-8 pages), posters and panels" from a variety of areas of gaming. 


Read more about the conference and the submission process here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Yes, we have Skyrim

Yes, we finally have the CVGA copy of Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (for Xbox 360).

Chances are somebody else is playing it right now; so while you are waiting, you can watch this YouTube clip of the 1980s kids cartoon The Elder Scrolls Adventures with the Dovahkids, featuring the first appearance of Skyrim:




(Okay, it's not really from the 80s; but it's a dead-on parody of that era's cartoons like the unfortunate Dungeons & Dragons cartoon...)

Monday, December 5, 2011

Top Games - Month of November 2011

Here are our top 10 games played in the archive for the month of November.

Our newer Batman and Gears of War games quickly rise in the ranks, with a few familiar favorites also making an appearance.


1. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
2. Batman: Arkham City (PS3)
3. Gears of War 3 (Xbox 360)
4. FIFA Soccer 12 (Xbox 360)
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)
6. Assassins' Creed: Brotherhood (PS3)
7. (tie) Battlefield: Bad Company 2 (Xbox 360)
7. (tie) Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (Xbox 360)
9. Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube)
10. FIFA Soccer 11 (Xbox 360)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Library of Congress' Video Game Collection

American Libraries Magazine recently published an article featuring the Video Game Collection at the Library of Congress.

According to the article, the collection preserves every game turned in for copyright registration, which works out to be about 10% of the games published each year. They collect the games themselves, along with promotional materials and guides associated with each game.

According to the Moving Image Materials collection policy listed on the LOC's website:
"Video games have become an established, popular medium of moving image entertainment which demand inclusion in the collections of MBRS. The Division is developing new approaches for the more systematic acquisition of video games, including playback consoles and platforms, the multiplicity of formats and their equipment needs, and the technical challenges in preserving the digital source files. The collection will encompass a wide range of examples of video game culture, to allow historians decades hence to fully understand this as a popular phenomenon, and not have simply a few games which seemed significant at the moment of release."

Read the article here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Now Hiring at the CVGA!

For those who are interested in working at the archive next semester, we now have one more job opening!


If you already applied in August/September, feel free to apply again. It may be that your Winter term schedule is more compatible with our needs.
 
Go to the Student Employment website and apply using the online system (Job ID 21972). Please include your Winter semester availability as well.

Note that we're looking primarily for work-study students, and would prefer someone who plans on being able to work during the upcoming Spring/Summer.


Library Assistant
Job ID 21972
Funding Source Work-Study
Employer Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

Job Description - Work at the Computer & Video Game Archive desk to circulate games, answer questions, and enforce archive policies. - Test donated games and equipment, help install software/hardware, etc. - Assist in running archive-related special events and tournaments. - Contribute to the archive blog and Twitter account.
Educational value of this job. - Gain experience working in an academic library, and gain knowledge of the inner workings of a library special collection. - Gain experience repairing newer & older computers/consoles. - Increase your knowledge of the video game and media industry.
Job Requirements At least 4 of the following: - Previous customer service experience. - Knowledge of and experience playing a large number of old & new video games. - Knowledge of and experience using software related to PC games (Steam, DOSBox, etc.) - Experience building/repairing PC computers and/or video game consoles. - Experience designing posters and informative displays. - Experience giving tours or coordinating special events.

Number of Available Openings 1
Hours 16.0 to 20.0 hours per week
Compensation $9.00/hour, $0.25 raise after 300 & 600 hours worked
Time Frame Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer
Contact Person Valerie Waldron
Work Location Computer & Video Game Archive, Art, Architecture & Engineering Library, Duderstadt Center.

Smithsonian Seeks Gaming Images

The Smithsonian's Art of Video Games Exhibition is seeking images of creative projects and paraphernalia inspired by video games.

According to their site, they are looking for "photographs that show how video games can inspire creativity! These might include images of video-game-inspired drawings, paintings, sculptures, jewelry, clothing, events, graphics, food, wallpaper... anything, really! We're particularly interested in seeing creative and crazy costumes inspired by your favorite game characters."

Read more about it here.

Monday, November 28, 2011

National STEM Video Game Challenge

Submissions are being accepted for the National STEM Video Game Challenge, an opportunity for students and educators to flex their creative muscles and share their original video game concepts.

The competition is divided into four categories: Middle School, High School, Collegiate, and Educators. The general goal of the competition is to motivate interest is Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).

Submissions will be accepted anytime between November 15th - March 12.

Read more about the competition here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thanksgiving Hours for the CVGA

The Computer & Video Game Archive will be open today from 11:30am-9pm, with an English 125 class taking place in the archive in the morning from 10:00-11:30am.

We will be closed from Wednesday - Sunday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and will resume our hours on Monday, Nov. 28th.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

How To Do Things With Video Games

Ian Bogost, author of several books including How To Do Things With Video Games, spoke to Forbes recently in an interview about video games as a medium.

He discusses the strengths of video games as a medium, the power of games in politics, and how the industry is handling adult themes in games. He also mentions the varying answers that people give to the question "what is a video game?" and how that affects whether they consider themselves gamers.

Read the interview in more depth here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

CVGA Joins Google+

The Computer & Video Game Archive now has a presence on Google+, which can be found here.
 


You can also find us on Facebook and Twitter. We hope you'll join in on the conversation.



Monday, November 7, 2011

Pondering the Issue of Games in Libraries

Phil Minchin of Port Phillip Library in Australia shares his views on why games are an overlooked but important addition to libraries via a blog post on the Library Journal blog.

In it, he points out a number of reasons why games should be in the collection, including that they are important elements of culture, that they foster community, and that they are art - the poetry of system.

Read more about his insights here.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Top Games - Month of October 2011

Here are our top games played in the archive for the month of October. There was a tie for 1st place, with Melee being back in the lead for the first time in quite awhile.

1. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube)
1. (tie) Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
3. FIFA Soccer 11
4. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
5. Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)
6. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Xbox 360)
7. Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4 (PS2)
8. (tie) Super Smash Bros. (N64)
8. (tie) Infamous 2 (PS3)
10. Halo Reach (Xbox 360)

It'll be tough for Melee to stay in the lead for next month though, since we just got FIFA 12 and Gears of War 3, along with other anticipated games like Batman: Arkham City. Who do you think will win next month?

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halo Reach Tournament this Friday!

The Computer & Video Game Archive is working with the Ann Arbor District Library to hold a Halo Reach tournament, where Ann Arborites can battle each other to win some great library swag and bragging rights.

We're also working with AADL as they continue their Arcade Master Series, so come ready to play some classic games and prove your skill with them as well!

The event will take place this Friday at North Quad in Room 2435 (entrance off State St.) from 6-9pm.


Clarifications: Pre-registration is not required. This event is available to the general public, and affiliation to UM or AADL is not required either. Just come and enjoy!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ridding the World of the Undead Threat

The zombie horde.

They've invaded our movies, corrupted our books, swept through our apocalypse dramas, and plagued our video games. One day, they may invade our homes. Will you be ready?

Help the archive develop weapons to quell their numbers before they wreak havoc on everyone. Our special Anti-Zombie Development Authority, or AZDA, has developed several prototypes and strategies to use against them, including conventional guns, loud music, harsh typed words, and our personal favorite, flamethrowers.



Which weapon will be the nemesis of these pesky undead? The truth is out there, and you'll only find out by participating in our AZDA tournament over the course of next week. Help us determine the best anti-zombie weapon, and win gift cards to Amazon for taking out the most undead.

The zombies will be waiting.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Zombie Game Tournament!

Looking for a way to celebrate Halloween in style? Join us for our Zombie Game Tournament, taking place during the week leading up to Halloween, and earn Amazon gift cards! Sign up now.

See details below.

About the tournament:

          In recognition of Halloween, this tournament will consist of 5 zombie-themed games from several consoles. It will be a silent tournament, taking place over the course of an entire week rather than all at once. There will be four winners, which will receive gift cards to Amazon. 1st place will receive a $40 card, 2nd place will receive a $30, 3rd place will receive a $20 card, and 4th place will receive a $10 card.
·        
      Registration will begin immediately and continue throughout the tournament, and the tournament will be limited to the first 50 people who sign up.  Participation is limited to those affiliated with the university, and excludes tournament officials. To register, you must provide a valid Umich ID, name, uniqname and email, and you may sign up in person at the archive desk, via email at video.games@umich.edu , or by phone at 763-6533. All requested information must be provided in order to sign up.
·        
      The week of the actual tournament will be October 24-29th. Participants may compete during the hours that the archive is open.
·        
         During the week of the tournament, participants will be allowed to play practice runs before they must make a real run. The real run must be declared beforehand and observed by a tournament official.  After the first official run, they may also elect to do a second run. If they choose this option, the score from the second run will be the official score, regardless of whether it is higher or lower than the first. Note: the decisions of the tournament officials are final.
·       
          The top 10 scorers of each of the 5 games will get points that accumulate for their final score, which will determine the winners. Points are awarded for each round as follows:
1st place
10 points
2nd place
9 points
3rd place
8 points
4th place
7 points
5th place
6 points
6th place
5 points
7th place
4 points
8th place
3 points
9th place
2 points
10th place
1 point

·        There will be a 6th game set aside for tie-breakers, which will be a sudden death match. The competitor left standing will win the tournament.  Competitors may compete for any of the tournament games during any of the days of the tournament week. If any of the competitors do not complete all 5 games by 5pm at the end of the week on Saturday, October 29, they will be disqualified from the tournament.
·       
          During the week of the tournament the archive will be open to everyone as usual, but stations with tournament-related consoles must be forfeited immediately in favor of those who wish to compete.

Games (subject to change as needed):
1.       Rock of the Dead (Xbox 360)
a.       Equipment
                                                               i.      Xbox 360, guitar controller
                                                             ii.      Available on Station 1
b.      Instructions
                                                               i.      Press start > Story > 2nd Chapter > Normal Difficulty
c.       Controls
                                                               i.      Press buttons and strum as per Rock Band
                                                             ii.      Blast: Hold Green+Red+Yellow+Blue and strum
                                                            iii.      Shield: Tilt guitar or press Back
d.      General Rules:
                                                               i.      No points given on Game Over, so try not to die!
                                                             ii.      2nd chapter only
e.      Tips
                                                               i.      No rhythm is needed except against larger creatures, so just go through the notes as quickly as possible

2.       House of the Dead Overkill (Wii)
a.       Equipment
                                                               i.      Wii, Wii remote, Pistol peripheral
                                                             ii.      Available on Station 6
b.      Instructions
                                                               i.      Select Profile: AAEL > Story mode > Fetid Waters Chapter
                                                             ii.      Choose default AMS Magnum as weapon > Hit Player 1 Play
c.       Controls
                                                               i.      Menu selection with A button, shoot with pistol trigger (B button)
d.      General Rules
                                                               i.      Reports score at end of level or upon death
                                                             ii.      If you die, DON’T continue – final score is reported from death screen

3.       Burn Zombie Burn (PS3 Download)
a.       Equipment
                                                               i.      PS3, PSN access, controller
                                                             ii.      Available on Station 1
b.      Instructions
                                                               i.      Press Start > Single Player > Arcade Mode
                                                             ii.      Level=Graveyard, Mode=Free Play, Difficulty=Normal (Ranked)
c.       Controls
                                                               i.      X=Fire, Triangle=TNT, Square=kick (TNT, exploding zombie heads, etc.)
                                                             ii.      L1=hold down to auto-target, R2=hold down to strafe
                                                            iii.      R1=fire main weapon, R2=hold down to use fire weapon (flamethrower, etc.)
d.      General Rules
                                                               i.      Read more here:  http://faqs.ign.com/articles/108/1081706p1.html
                                                             ii.      Get the highest score you can before game over or 10 minutes passes
e.      Tips
                                                               i.      Set zombies on fire to gain multipliers, and use main weapon to kill zombies and rack up points.
                                                             ii.      Letting zombies gather into a horde and then taking them out all at once will get you more points than by taking them out individually.
                                                            iii.      Best way to gain points: gather TNT & upgrade it, raise fire multiplier to x30-45, blow up fiery zombie horde.

4.       Typing of the Dead (Dreamcast)
a.       Equipment
                                                               i.      Dreamcast, keyboard
                                                             ii.      Available on Station 9
b.      Instructions
                                                               i.      Arcade mode > Story mode > Chapter 3
                                                             ii.      When you play through Chapter 3, report score and continue on to Chapter 4
c.       Controls
                                                               i.      Use keyboard to type out words as they appear on screen to kill zombies
d.      General Rules
                                                               i.      Each chapter will give you a score when you reach the end of it
                                                             ii.      Add scores from chapters 3 and 4 to get your final tournament score
e.      Tips
                                                               i.      Final score is based on typing accuracy, speed, and completing missions

5.       Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES)
a.       Equipment
                                                               i.      Super Nintendo, controller
                                                             ii.      Available on Station 17
b.      Instructions
                                                               i.      Play the game for 10 minutes or until Game Over, and report final score
                                                             ii.      Scores accumulate over levels, so don’t report each level’s score
c.       Controls
                                                               i.      + Pad: Movement, Y button: Fire weapon, X button: Use special item
                                                             ii.      B Button: Switch weapon, A button: Switch special items/Check key inventory
                                                            iii.      L & R buttons: Toggle victim radar on/off
d.      General Rules
                                                               i.      Get highest score you can by racking up points and going through levels
                                                             ii.      At end of 10 minutes, pause game and report final score

6.       Ghosts and Goblins (NES) - Tie-breaker Game
a.       Equipment
                                                               i.      Nintendo, controller
                                                             ii.      Available on Stations 14 & 16
b.      Instructions
                                                               i.      Start game normally
                                                             ii.      You automatically start with 2 hits per life, and 3 lives
c.       Controls
                                                               i.      A button: Jump, B button: Attack, + pad: Movement
d.      General Rules
                                                               i.      Sudden death match: whoever can accumulate the most points before dying

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Libraries in Minecraft

Old Dominion University has taken the time to painstakingly recreate their library in the popular indie game Minecraft, and is currently seeking out ideas for connecting with current and potential users who play the game.

According to their website, they're planning a zombie invasion on their virtual library to celebrate Halloween, and who knows what might invade them next.

Check out the project here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

In Search of Gaming's Worst

Jon Irwin of the blog Kill Screen has done an interview with our own Dave Carter that accentuates the archive. In the interview, they discuss the importance of studying not only great and popular games, but learning the history of and learning lessons from the worst games out there as well.

You can read the interview here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Top Games - Month of September 2011

Here are our top games for the month of September. Smash continues to dominate the scoreboard, but Melee has fallen slightly below Brawl. Deus Ex rises quickly in popularity, and the 3DS makes an appearance.

1. FIFA Soccer 11 (Xbox 360)
2. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
3. Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube)
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
5. (tie) Deus Ex (Xbox 360)
5. (tie) Call of Duty: Black Ops (PS3)
7. Starcraft II (PC)
8. (tie) Super Smash Bros. (Nintendo 64)
8. (tie) Legend of Zelda (3DS)
10. Marvel vs. Capcom 3 (Xbox 360)

Friday, September 30, 2011

Finding New Planets with the Help of Gamers

A new game called Planet Hunters, set up by  a list of organizations including the University of Oxford and Yale University, enlists the help of gamers to seek out new civilizations. Or at least discover potentially new planets, by searching through NASA Kepler public release data.

According to Gamasutra's article, "Every user who helps to discover a planet is then named in the acknowledgements as part of The Royal Astronomical Society monthly notices."

The official report explains more of the details.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Online Gamers Crack AIDS Enzyme Dilemma

Online gamers have used a game called FoldIt to help decipher "the structure of an enzyme of an AIDS-like virus," helping scientists to develop "new insights for the design of antiretroviral drugs."

While the enzyme had "thwarted scientists for a decade," the entire process took the online gamers only about 3 weeks to crack.

Commenting on the project's success, FoldIt's creator Seth Cooper has stated, "Games provide a framework for bringing together the strengths of computers and humans. The results in this week's paper show that gaming, science and computation can be combined to make advances that were not possible before."

The project is also discussed in a recent paper published by the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Events Calendar for the CVGA

The CVGA now has an events calendar to help everyone keep track of when the archive will be reserved for special events, as well as where we will be represented around campus.

Check it out here: http://bit.ly/KrJNfV

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

CVGA @ Party for Your Mind Event

The Shapiro Library on Central Campus hosted a welcome event for incoming freshmen called Party for Your Mind over the weekend, complete with an introduction to the library system's resources, video games from the CVGA, and rubber ducks (library rubber ducks) for souvenirs. Here are some pictures of the fun times that were had on Sunday afternoon:





Saturday, September 3, 2011

Top Games - Month of August 2011

Here are the top games played in the archive for the month of August.

1. Starcraft II (PC)
2. Call of Duty: Black Ops (Xbox 360)
3. FIFA Soccer 11 (Xbox 360)
4. (tie) NBA 2K11 (Xbox 360)
4. (tie) NCAA Football 11 (Xbox 360)
6. Super Smash Bros. Brawl (Wii)
7. Assassin's Creed II (PS3)
8. (tie) Super Smash Bros. Melee (Gamecube)
8. (tie) Super Mario Galaxy (Wii)
10. Grand Theft Auto IV (Xbox 360)

Brawl is ahead of Melee, but I'm sure that will change now that students are returning. And people have been playing a couple of older favorites while the archive has been relatively quiet. Should be interesting to see what the Fall brings!

Friday, September 2, 2011

CVGA to be Featured on Double Jump


The CVGA will be featured on next week's special episode of Double Jump about Gaming & Libraries.

Double Jump is "Michigan's only local game show," and "explores gaming as a legitimate and mainstream form of art and entertainment."
 
They've posted a Sneak Peak to next week's episode on YouTube, which contains our segment.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

A few photos from E3

Julia Lange, a doctoral student who has been making occasional use of the CVGA for her research, was at E3 earlier this summer, and shared with us a few photos she snapped with her cellphone:




Thanks Julia!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Girls' Gaming Group

Hello!
Your friendly CVGA intern, here, to tell you about a new and exciting group. The Computer and Video Game Archive is proud to host a Girls' Gaming Group, the 2nd and 4th Thursday evenings of every month, from 6-9 PM at the archive. Beginners welcome! If you're interested, please join our Facebook group.

Whether you're like me, and have a love of older games, or you're into new games coming out, this is an excellent chance for you to game and meet other women gamers in a non-competitive atmosphere. I hope to see you there!


Video Game History Museum in the Works

The organizers of the annual Classic Gaming Expo - John Hardie, Sean Kelly, and Joe Santulli - have a mission. They want to start a physical museum that collects everything about classic games - every version of every game, design & developer notes, promotional materials, backups of unreleased games, etc. 

The exact location is yet to be determined, but San Jose, CA is their stated goal. The group has already done much to raise donations and is getting close to their goal, but is still accepting donations via their website.

More information can be found on their website and via their press release.

Monday, August 29, 2011

A2 GeekTour Explores the CVGA

We recently had the opportunity to host a social event for the A2 GeekTour, whose aim is to create "a chance for geeks to get together and explore a physical space that has some claim to geekdom." 

Highlights included the group experiencing moments of nostalgia as they checked out our Atari games and some of the older equipment, as well as an opportunity for them to rock out with a few Rock Band songs, complete with the string guitar controller.



You can read more about the event on the group's blog.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Hiring at the CVGA!

For those who are interested in working at the archive, now is the time to apply!

Go to the Student Employment website and apply using the online system (Job ID 21972). Please include your Fall semester availability as well.

Note that we're looking primarily for work-study students, although we might be able to sneak in a non work-study student with previous experience in computer building/repair. We look forward to hearing from you!


Library Assistant
Job ID 21972
Funding Source Work-Study
Employer Art, Architecture & Engineering Library

Job Description - Work at the Computer & Video Game Archive desk to circulate games, answer questions, and enforce archive policies. - Test donated games and equipment, help install software/hardware, etc. - Assist in running archive-related special events and tournaments. - Contribute to the archive blog and Twitter account.
Educational value of this job. - Gain experience working in an academic library, and gain knowledge of the inner workings of a library special collection. - Gain experience repairing newer & older computers/consoles. - Increase your knowledge of the video game and media industry.
Job Requirements At least 4 of the following: - Previous customer service experience. - Knowledge of and experience playing a large number of old & new video games. - Knowledge of and experience using software related to PC games (Steam, DOSBox, etc.) - Experience building/repairing PC computers and/or video game consoles. - Experience designing posters and informative displays. - Experience giving tours or coordinating special events.

Number of Available Openings 2
Hours 16.0 to 20.0 hours per week
Compensation $9.00/hour, $0.25 raise after 300 & 600 hours worked
Time Frame Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer
Contact Person Valerie Waldron
Work Location Computer & Video Game Archive, Art, Architecture & Engineering Library, Duderstadt Center.