This week I’m focusing on Microsoft’s XBOX ONE, and today I’m talking about the XBOX ONE GAMES. There’s a lot of thought that goes into gameplay for libraries vs normal gameplay that doesn’t occur to those not of the library world. For instance, we have to look at:
- How many players can the game have? One player games really aren’t going to cut it, and two players are not going to give us the biggest bang for our buck.
- What is the rating? While we may have Halo and Assassin’s Creed at home, there may be rules put in place by those with higher pay grades that limit options.
- What are the online requirements? Does it need an XBOX account with specific things? Sometimes there are restrictions to what we can and cannot purchase, and memberships to online communities may be one of them.
- What are the critics’ saying? Some library systems may require reviews (positive) of games in order to have them for gaming.
- How can you justify it within the framework of the library missions/ current departmental goals? Sometimes with gaming, people within the library do not see that gaming hits a number of developmental assets for tweens and teens; they just see that you’re playing video games with them and goofing off while they’re “really working”. I’ll talk about this in a later post, but make sure that you know what assets and digital literacies you’re hitting with every program, and back it up with books from the collection as well.
So, if you were just starting out on the XBOX ONE, which games should you purchase? Definitely ask your teens and anyone else on staff who loves gaming- this is your core audience, and I’ve found that gaming varies from place to place. Even within city regions- what works at one branch may not work in another just due to economic factors.
That being said, here are the three most popular at my gaming programs.
- Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warefare: a four-player game that does require an XBOX Live membership (additional cost), you are plants battling zombies from taking over the garden. A combination of defense strategy and third person shooting, players have to work together in order to survive.
- FIFA 14/15: my teens are completely into futbol/ soccer, so much so that we decorated for the World Cup and they were trash talking not only each other but staff about their teams when they lost. So it’s no surprise that they constantly want to play FIFA. It will take four players (2 on 2) and they can chose their players and countries, so you may have to time them in order to get set up.
- NBA2K15: with a two vs two mode that lets teens play against each other, NBA is another staple in our gaming programs. Smack talk abounds, especially when someone misses a shot or gets the ball stolen. Players can choose who they want to be, and can set the match time limits as well.
A couple of games that are liked but don’t work as well for group play:
- LEGO Marvel Superheros: I have tweens dedicated to this title, but there are times when only one can play, times when only two can play, and times when four can play, and it seems to be random how it switches out. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re missing a cheat code (I admit, I haven’t had the time to research it yet) but it can make for some upset tweens when they’re not getting “enough” playing time or someone doesn’t want to give up their controller.
- Just Dance: The teens and tweens LOVED this over the summer on the Wii, and wanted to play it ENDLESSLY. I set it up for the XBOX ONE using the Kinect earlier this fall, and it was, “We’d rather play soccer, Miss.” It might have been that FIFA was new, when they’ve played Just Dance. It might have been that we had no choice but to hold the gaming program in the middle of the library (and thereby subject everyone to dancing moves out in the open as well). It’s hard to tell, and I realize that this age group is fickle as anything- they may chose to do Just Dance at our next XBOX ONE gaming day. I always get one or two votes for Just Dance, but so far they’ve always been out voted for one of the other games above.
Are you using an XBOX system in your tween or teen programming? What games are popular with your teens? Share in the comments!