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The Cage: Gaming in the Library and Teen Brains

The Cage: Gaming in the Library and Teen Brains

One of our most popular events for teenagers at the Central Rappahannock Regional Library is The Cage. At this monthly event, like-minded teens can come together to socialize while playing video games, making art, or talking about their favorite manga and anime. Teens can drop into these programs at the Porter Branch on 1st Mondays in the month from 6:00-8:00, the Salem Church Branch on 2nd Mondays from 6:00-8:00, and at the England Run Branch on 3rd Fridays from 3:30-5:00.

Video games have been particularly maligned since their development almost a half-century ago. They often get a bad rap for being violent, loud, and brain numbing, but recent studies have shown a lot of benefits to such activities. As video games have grown in sophistication, research has shown players’ increases in:

• Cognitive Ability: Making split second decisions under pressure. First person shooters are the best at building this skill.

• Spatial Orientation: Being able to visualize a three dimensional space, as well as increased hand-eye coordination.

• Problem Solving Skills: Many games involve solving puzzles or overcoming obstacles in order to advance further in the story.

• Socialization: With the rise of Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs), players can now communicate, form strategies, and work together to achieve their goals.

• Empathy: Some game developers are even looking for ways to engage a player on an emotional level, allowing them to gain insight and empathy for others through storytelling.

These are just some of the benefits that have been observed. The library can help to provide further insight with our collection and events like The Cage.