I recently surveyed 241 kids (10% of the student population) about their use of the library and their gaming habits. This is part of an effort to determine how to go about launching a video/computer gaming program that both supports the school's educational efforts and appeals to the recreational needs of the kids. At the end of the survey (32 multiple choice questions), I provided space for students to make comments or ask questions. I assumed they would keep their thoughts focused on the topics at hand, but some of them had other ideas. Although many of these comments were relevant to gaming in libraries, several were just plain funny. Give a kid the opportunity to open his/her mouth, and what spews forth is golden. Here are some highlights (I will remain faithful to the students' spelling):
"I hope we play war games not just learning games"
"I think this is a good idea for the school"
"I like video games and computers games"
"The kind of games that I like is violence, blood, Adult lauange "
"Add Maplestory as an suggestions as a game"
"I hate Ms. L class because she sucks"
"will you have wii and xbox in the library to play wit if not plez bring them plez"
"NO JUST PLAY VIDEO GAMES ONLY!!"
"Are you or are you not gonna let students play computer games on the internet?"
"Does the games have to be educational?"
"would be a good game for school is thing thing 2 or 1, or 3 and also clear vision 1, or 2, and Max bike and we could get if free at www.addictinggames.com"
"on #30 [this was a question about what they would like to learn about from games] it depends because in science its already fun so i don't know"
"could we come only some days?"
"I would like to work in the school library for the gaming systems"
"how long do I have to participate in the library?"
"if there going to put games then they try not too make it really, really educational because then it starts to get a little boring"
"whats this for and are u going to make a gaming event after school?"
"I love videogames"
"I want to learn about every subject and learn by being in library services"
"why after school if we cannot stay after school?"
"I would like to be chosen. I like games and to read. I would like to parcipate in events"
"I don't enjoy writing alot in Ms. L class makes you take notes"
"I don't like science class, neather Mr. T. He is my teachers for science. I don't like him, and I think he dosen't like me neather. Well I don't care if he dosen't like me."
So, there you have it folks. The hearts and minds of our future leaders unveiled. Not many of these are helpful to me, but still.... some things just need to be said.