2015’s Game of the Year Winners

The following games received “Game of the Year” honors from the five major industry award shows in 2015:

    The Game Awards: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
    GDC Awards: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
    DICE Awards: Fallout 4
    SXSW Gaming Awards: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
    BAFTA Games Awards: Fallout 4

A complete list of all winners and nominees can be found below. Continue reading

Best of Gamescom 2015 Winners Selected by Gamescom Committee

gamescomEvery year, Germany’s Digital Gaming Culture Foundation (Stiftung Digitale Spielekultur) supervises the Gamescom Committee, a small group of journalists who choose the best games that were present at the Gamescom expo. The Gamescom expo is held in the Summer, and serves as the European equivalent to the Los Angeles-based E3 Expo.

While most of these titles are still in development, you should keep them in mind when you add games to your collection this Fall and into 2016.

Star Wars: Battlefront was named “Best of Gamescom,” and the full list of winners and nominees can be found below. Continue reading

How to Build a Quality Circulating Game Collection in 5 Minutes

Minute 1… Choose Your Platforms
Dozens of video game platforms have been released since the 1970s, though only a handful are active at a time. Personally, I think supporting as many platforms as possible is the best course of action, but that’s not always possible. If you are forced to limit the number of platforms in your collection, the best way to choose is to go directly to your patrons and ask them what platforms they’d like to see on the library shelves.

Minute 2… Visit Metacritic
Metacritic is a review aggreagator that averages together hundreds of reviews to produce a “Metascore” for every game. While not perfect, the “Metascore” is a reasonable approximation of the overall critical consensus for every game. So point your mouse here and get to it: Metacritic.

Minute 3… Make a List of the Top 10 Titles on Each Platform You Chose
Metacritic also provides a list of the top-ranked titles on each platform broken down further into a “games released in the past 90 days” list and an “all time” list. Cruising down each list and pulling out the top ten for every platform you want to collect. This process will give you a wide selection of games that covers multiple genres and player preferences. Basically, you’re picking a little something for everything.

Minute 4… Order the Games on Your List
You’ve picked your games, so it’s time to do it, hit that “Buy” button.

Minute 5… Bask in a Job Well Done
Obviously, there’s more to building a game collection than all this. But this process will give you a good base collection that you can then supplement in the future with additional titles. Like the ones I select every week as “The Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week.”

Best of E3 2015 Winners Selected by Game Critics Awards

e3Every year, the Game Critics Awards, a collection of editors from more than 40 major publications that cover the video game industry, get together to choose the best games at the E3 Expo.

While all of these titles are still in development, you should keep them in mind when you add games to your collection this Fall and into 2016.

Fallout 4 was named “Best of Show,” and the full list of winners and nominees can be found below. Continue reading

Get to Know the ESRB Ratings

Regardless of what some people think, not all video games are appropriate for players of all ages. Some games are actually designed solely for adults and children should most definitely NOT be playing them. So when choosing a video game (or helping a patron choose a game), it’s important to check the ESRB rating of the game to determine if it is age-appropriate for the person who will be playing it.

ESRB ratings work very similar to the MPAA ratings given to movies. In fact, the ESRB originally approached the MPAA about sharing the familiar G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 ratings, but the MPAA said no. Instead, games are rated by a panel of full-time ESRB raters who judge video footage of games supplied by publishers or developers that is supposed to include a general overview of the game including the storyline and any hidden areas.

The ESRB rating will appear on the front cover of every game and on the back cover along with additional “Content Descriptors” that describe events that will occur in a game. The rating of any game (along with more information on the ESRB as an organization, the complete rating process, and details of enforcement) can be found online at ESRB.org.

Below, you’ll find a quick rundown of each rating. Continue reading

2008 Video Game Librarian Bookmark Awards

This article is from the first edition of The Video Game Librarian website I published between 2008 and 2010. It was originally written on December 30, 2008.

The votes are in and the 2008 Video Game Librarian Bookmark Awards have been handed out. The following games were chosen based on suggestions from The Video Game Librarian readers, review scores, innovation and overall impact on the video game community.

“Continue Reading” for this year’s selections. Continue reading