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Play and games are set to be the media of the 21st Century in the same way audiovisual media were of the 20th. But libraries have largely ignored the tremendous importance (and potential) of these new media, making little to no effort to include them in collections except as they do so easily, and even ignoring games that come in book form. There has been little effort to curate games and play, cultivate deeper and broader critical appreciation in the public, or even apply accurate taxonomies. (And if you know librarians, that really says something about the size of the blind spot!)
This presentation, delivered at the Australian Library & Information Association's 7th New Librarians' Symposium (ALIA's NLS7), outlines the foundational reasons why games and play actually matter a lot more than our culture likes to think, and especially to libraries; it also offers some pointers for making this case to existing library institutions, and how to negotiate a system that is almost completely blind to the value of play.