Pokemon Go: An Overview + Safety Issues to Consider @ School Library Journal

pokemongo

More librarians have discovered the joys of Pokemon Go, including Alanna Graves of School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox. She put together a great how-to guide for the app that covers how it works, safety issues to consider, and links to strategies a few libraries are using to lure in Pokemon Go players:

This weekend my timeline flooded with posts about Pokemon Go. Then on Sunday afternoon, The Teen came home from a friend’s house declaring they had walked 3 miles trying to catch Pokemons. So I decided I needed to figure out what this Pokemon Go is because my teens are definitely in to it.

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Pokemon Go and Your Library

Unlike a traditional Pokemon game, Pokemon Go asks players to use the GPS function on their smartphone (iOS or Android) to find Pokemon out in the real world. In addition to searching for Pokemon that appear randomly on the map, players can also use Pokemon Go to find “PokeStops” and “Pokemon Gyms” in their quest to become an accomplished Trainer. It’s easy to think of Pokemon Go as an app that’s very similar to geocaching with a virtual prize at the end, but this gameplay description from The Pokemon Company is very helpful… Continue reading

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: July 11, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Rocket League, a multiplayer sports game that mixes soccer with car combat.

Originally released as a downloadable title for the PS4 and PC last Fall, Rocket League eventually made its way to the Xbox One earlier this year. Since then, it’s won multiple “Game of the Year” awards and become a smash hit with players who love multiplayer-focused games and stylized futuristic sports.

Now it’s available in a retail-exclusive Collector’s Edition for the PS4 and Xbox One, and you should add it to your circulating game collection right away. It has an incredibly broad appeal and Rocket League’s local multiplayer options also make it a good choice for “Game Night” programs.


All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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Best of E3 2016 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 2017.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild was named “Best of Show,” and the full list of winners and nominees can be found below. Continue reading

This Week’s New Releases + Game News: July 4, 2016

vgl-pickThe Video Game Librarian Pick of the Week is Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (3DS, PC, PS3, PS4, Vita, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One), the latest Lego game set in a galaxy far, far away.

Based on the latest addition to the Star Wars saga, Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens will let players recreate scenes from last year’s blockbuster film and go on “New Adventures” that fill in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and the sequel trilogy. Patrons of all ages know what to expect from the Lego series and this game will likely be able to deliver it.

Also of note this week are a handful of RPGs from Japan, a zombie game that’s all about survival, and a popular side-scrolling indie game that’s now available for the Wii U.

First up, there’s Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for the PS4. As the fifth entry in Square Enix’s series of space-based RPGs, Integrity and Faithlessness is the first new addition to the series in over seven years. Also available for the PS4 (and the Vita) is Grand Kingdom, a tactical RPG from NIS America and Monochrome. Finally on the RPG front, Zero Time Dilemma will close out the trippy Zero Escape franchise on the 3DS and Vita.

Meanwhile, 7 Days to Die is a survival game for the PS4 and Xbox One where players have to craft a shelter and hold out against a zombie horde for as long as they can. It’s been available through Steam as an “Early Access” title for a few years now, but the Minecraft-like graphics and post-apocalyptic setting should appeal to a lot of people.

Finally this week, Terraria, the side-scrolling crafting and exploration title from Re-Logic, is now available for the Wii U.


All Links in “This Week’s New Releases + Game News” are Provided by Warp Zoned.

New Release Round-Up

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2016 ALA Conference – A Report from ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table

gamesgamingroundtable

The American Library Association hosted the ALA Annual Conference this weekend in Orlando, and Brian Mayer, the incoming President of the ALA’s Games and Gaming Round Table, provided a quick wrap-up of the event at ALA Connect:

Two big things that we will be working on is this coming year is consolidating the voice of the GameRT, providing a central outreach to membership and publishers that speaks to all of the ways that they can be involved. The second is increasing our outreach and communication with the membership, creating conversational spaces and resources where members and interests are. So look for GameRT communities to pop up in Steam, BGG, and more.

Mayer also quickly covered ALAPlay, the Gaming Lounge, and a number of events and panels that were held over the weekend.

Mass Effect: Andromeda Novel Series Will Begin This August

masseffectandromedainitiationEA and BioWare will help produce a quartet of novels that will bridge the gap between the events of Mass Effect 3, and those of its upcoming sequel, Mass Effect: Andromeda.

The novels were outed by a “Rights Guide” from Titan Books, and the first, Mass Effect Andromeda: Initiation, will be written by N.K. Jemisin and released this August. Jemisin is an award-winning fantasy author, and her first novel, The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, was nominated for a Hugo, a Nebula, and a World Fantasy Award.

Titan plans to sell the novel series to readers by promising to “answer the many questions fans have been asking”:

While earlier Mass Effect games focused on the defense of the Milky Way galaxy, with humans pitted against a race of ruthless mechanical invaders known as the Reapers, the new story will take the game in a dramatic new direction and is set in a new region of space, with a new and deadly enemy.

The novels will act as prequel and sequels to the events in the games and will become part of the overarching Mass Effect saga. They will focus on key characters and answer the many questions fans have been asking.

The series will continue with Mass Effect Andromeda: Novel 2 in March 2017 and Mass Effect Andromeda: Novel 3 in September 2017, though an author wasn’t announced for either book. The concluding volume, Mass Effect Andromeda: Novel 4, will be written by BioWare’s Mac Walters, and will be published in March 2018.