The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Library level up: Video game collection moved for student accessibility

Junior+Anna+Gerstenberger+browses+the+Richardson+Librarys+collection+of+video+games+on+Friday%2C+Feb.+2%2C+2024.+The+library+has+moved+the+games+from+behind+the+front+desk+onto+the+shelves+of+the+first+floor+for+students+to+freely+browse.
Quentin Blais
Junior Anna Gerstenberger browses the Richardson Library’s collection of video games on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024. The library has moved the games from behind the front desk onto the shelves of the first floor for students to freely browse.

Ready player one? For students looking for new video games, the John T. Richardson Library is moving their collection to the first floor near the group work tables. The change will allow students to check out games using their student ID at no cost. Now easily browsable, the collection is home to over 500 video games spanning from single-player to multiplayer and split-screen titles, including popular titles such as “Animal Crossing,” “Street Fighter” and “Elden Ring.”

For the past decade, the games used to be locked behind the library’s service deck, meaning visitors may be unaware of the expansive collection. The library staff decided to set up a more accessible games section after hearing student requests. 

“It felt like this system was not working the best it could for students,” said Liz Becker, a loanable technology supervisor at Richardson Library, who reconfigured the setup with the help of Ian Williams, the library’s stack maintenance supervisor. “So we said let’s change it. Let’s make it something that students can get more joy and access from.”

Ash Carlino, a senior at DePaul studying English education and a student service assistant at the library, said the staff is excited to share the collection with students since video games are not always affordable on a college student’s budget. 

“I remember when I first found out that DePaul had video games,” Carlino said. “I didn’t know what to do because I never really had the opportunity to try them for free.”

Carlino said that the cost of video games is a “huge hill to climb” since many new titles sell for an average of $60 to $70 a game.

Carlino likes being able to try games before buying them. 

“I get to decide where I can put my money.”  

Becker says it’s particularly helpful to have brand-new games to try. 

“Taking something so expensive and unaffordable for so many people, it’s nice to be able to create a place like this for the students,” they said. 

The Richardson Library collection will soon expand as library staff plan to add more titles to the collection and will collaborate with the College of Digital Media (CDM) to bring new games and consoles to the Lincoln Park campus. 

“When the Loop library started coordinating with the CDM that was the big goal in mind — to bring video games into something that was not just accessible to CDM students, but to any DePaul student,” Becker said.

Williams, who maintains the stacks, said the library staff is always open to requests for titles, new and old. The Richardson Library also accepts donations of consoles, video games and other tech which allows them to expand their offerings. 

“If we know there’s a big video game coming out, we normally make sure that we’re picking up a copy,” Williams said. 

Becker said it’s great that video games give students a break from college work but they hopes students will also use the library for learning. 

DePaul and the American Library Association’s mission is to promote the use of video games as an educational tool.

The DePaul Instructional Game and Innovation Lab also works with faculty and others to design learning games and simulations.

“(Gaming) can tie into curriculums. It can be a social tool, and all these things are extremely beneficial to our students,” Becker said. 

If there is a specific game you are looking for, the library staff, including Carlino, invite you to stop in and browse the growing collection of games and consoles that are ready for students to check out. 

“If you don’t find a book that interests you, maybe there’s a video game or some kind of service that we can provide that makes anything more helpful or easier for you,” Carlino said.

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