Library Resources


Books for Gamers

Action/Adventure Games

Fantasy Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games

If you enjoy epic fantasy or historical war games with epic fantasy setting, detailed mythology, fantastic beasts and creatures, or good vs. evil themes like:

  • Everquest
  • Runescape
  • Ultima
  • World of Warcraft

You might try these books:

  • Discorida by Dena K. Salmon (YA)

Lance (level 19 zombie sorcerer), and his friend, MrsKeller (level 23 hobgoblin brigand) find themselves trapped in the world that inspired their favorite online game

  • Graceling by Kristin Cashore (YA)

Rarely in the seven kingdoms, a person is born with an extreme skill called a Grace. Katsa's is that she can kill a person with her bare hands.

  • The Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price (A/YA)

Time travel adventure

  • DragonLance by Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickham (A/YA)

Based on D&D campaigns

  • Forgotten Realms series by R.A. Salvatore (A/YA)
  • The Hunting of the Last Dragon by Sherryl Jordan (A)

One of two young teens on a hunt for the last dragon retells their adventures to a monk

  • Eragon by Christopher Paolini (J/YA)

Other suggested authors:

  • T.A. Barron
  • Robert Jordan
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Garth Nix
  • Philip Pullman

First Person Shooters

If you enjoy first person shooter games with characteristics of warfare, strategy and violence, like:

* Quake

  • Halo
  • Doom
  • Counterstrike

You might try these books:

  • Black Horses for the King by Anne McCaffrey (YA)

Details about the first cavalry, set in the times of King Arthur, told from the point of view of the stableboy

  • Battle Dress by Amy Efaw (YA)

semi-autobiographical story about being a girl at West Point

  • Soldier Boys by Dean Hughes (YA)
  • Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein

Other suggested authors:

  • John Marsden

apocolypic fiction series, Tomorrow When the War Began

  • Harry Mazer
  • James Collier

historical fiction, war-centric

  • Tom Clancy

military thrillers

  • Robert Westall

Historical Simulation Games

If you enjoy historical games with elements like historical settings, simulation, and replaying history, like: * Civilization 4

  • Caesar
  • Pharoah

You might try these books:

  • The Story of Mankind by Hendrick Willem Van Loon (A/YA)

The first Newbery award winner, details the story of man from ancient times to present.

  • Troy by Adele Geras (YA)

Set in Ancient Greece, details the events of and leading up to the battle of Troy

  • London by Edward Rutherford (A)

biography of a city, richly detailed

Other suggested authors:

  • Gary Blackwood
  • Peter Dickinson

Prehistory series, archaeological fiction

  • Clarence McLaren

Ancient Greece historical fiction

  • Donna Jo Napoli

Fractured fairy tales from historical time periods

  • Julius Lester


Japanese Games

If you enjoy games with a heavy Japanese influence, with characteristics of -anime style or Japanese culture, like:

* Katamari Damacy

  • Final Fantasy
  • Dragonball Z
  • Pokemon
  • .hack/sign

You might try these books:

  • Oh My Goddess! by Kowsuke Fijushimi
  • Dragonball Z by Akira Toriyama

Other suggested authors:

  • Rumiko Takahashi
  • Katsuhiro Otomo


Puzzle and Strategy Games

If you enjoy strategy games with characteristics of problem-solving or logic, word and/or math puzzles, like: * Tetris

  • Sudoko
  • Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?
  • Brain Age
  • Big Brain Academy

You might try these books:

  • The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
  • Chasing Vermeer by Blue Baillett

Other suggested authors:

  • E.L. Konigsberg (J/YA)
  • William E. Coles (YA)
  • Vivian Vande Velde (YA)
  • Dan Brown (A)
  • Michael Crichton (A)
  • Lemony Snicket (J)

Life Simulation Games

If you enjoy simulations with character-driven situations and building elements like: * The Sims

  • The Urbz
  • Teen Second Life

You might try these books:

  • Flip by David Lubar
  • Claws by Will Weaver

Other suggested authors:

  • Mel Glenn
  • M.E. Kerr
  • Cecily von Zeigesar


Sports Games

If you enjoy sports games with characteristics of sports and competition, like:

  • Madden Football ‘08
  • NBA Street
  • Need for Speed
  • Tiger Woods Golf

You might try these books:

  • Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

A journalist's account of the 1998 disaster on Mt. Everest

  • Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger

Story of American high school football

  • The Best American Sports Writing

Annual roundup of the best sports writing

Other suggested authors:

  • Chris Crutcher
  • Thomas Dygard
  • Will Hobbs
  • Rich Wallace


Superhero Games

If you enjoy superhero games with characteristics special powers, good vs. evil themes and heroic acts, like:


  • Spider-Man
  • Fantastic Four
  • City of Heroes/City of Villains

You might try these books:

  • Heroes graphic novel by Tim Sale
  • Runaways by Brian K. Vaughn

A group of kids discover their parents are evil supervillains

  • Spider-Man Loves Mary Jane by Sean McKeever

Manga spinoff from MJ's point of view

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Mythology of America

  • Hidden Talents by David Lubar

boys at a detention center discover the supernatural powers that got them into trouble

Other suggested authors:

  • Stan Lee
  • Brian Michael Bendis

Book Lists

Gaming in Manga and Comics from Pierce County Library

World of Gaming from Pierce County Library

History of Gaming from Pierce County Library

So You Want to Work With Games from Pierce County Library

Books for Gamers from Corvallis-Benton County Public Library

Books for Gamers: Music Books

Young Adult Novels With Gaming Plots



  • Bloor, Edward. Crusader
  • Card, Orson Scott. Ender's Game
  • Fredericks, Mariah. Head Games
  • Gallagher, Fred. MegaTokyo (any volume)
  • Hamazaki, Tatzuya. .hack//G.U.+
  • Holkins, Jerry. Penny Arcade: Attack of the Bacon Robots
  • Horowitz, Anthony. Eagle Strike
  • Hughes, Monica. Invitation to the Game
  • Knaak, Richard. Warcraft: The Sunwell Trilogy
  • Lubar, David. Dunk
  • Lubar, David. Wizards of the Game
  • Rei, Izumi. .hack//Legends of the Twilight
  • Skurzynski, Gloria. Virtual War
  • Sleator, William. Interstellar Pig
  • Sleator, William. Parasite Pig
  • Stephenson, Neal. Snow Crash
  • Vande Velde, Vivian. Heir Apparent
  • Vande Velde, Vivian. User Unfriendly
  • Weiss, D. B. Lucky Wander Boy
  • Werlin, Nancy. Locked Inside
  • Anderson, M. T. Feed
  • Kostick, Conor. Epic


: About Games and Gaming as a Phenomenon:

  • Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth about Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do by Cheryl Olson & Lawrence Kutner
  • Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today's Pop Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter by Steven Berlin Johnson
  • Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Exploring Participatory Culture -- Henry Jenkins (title also noted as "Fans, Bloggers, and Gamers: Media Consumers in a Digital Age")
  • Play Between Worlds: Exploring Online Game Culture -- T. L. Taylor
  • Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games -- Edward Castronova
  • Half-Real: Video Games between Real Rules and Fictional Worlds -- Jesper Juul
  • Massively Multiplayer Games For Dummies -- Scott Jennings
  • The State of Play: Law, Games, and Virtual Worlds (Ex Machina: Law, Technology, and Society) -- Jack Balkin
  • She's Such a Geek: Women Write About Science, Technology, and Other Nerdy Stuff -- Annalee Newitz
  • Shared Fantasy: Role Playing Games as Social Worlds -- Gary Alan Fine
  • Gaming As Culture: Essays on Reality, Identity And Experience in Fantasy Games -- J. Patrick Williams

: About the Creation and Design of Games:

  • Author. Writing for Animation, Comics and Games *
  • Salen, Katie and Eric Zimmerman. The Game Design Reader: A Rules of Play Anthology *
  • Author. Masters of Doom: How Two Guys Created an Empire and Transformed Pop Culture
  • Cooper, Robbie. Alter Ego: Avatars and Their Creators *
  • Dungeons & Dreamers: the Rise of the Computer Gaming Culture from Geek to Chic by Brad King and John Borland
  • Epic Legend of the Magic Sword by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
  • The Warsun Prophesies by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
  • Birds are Weird by Jerry Holkins and Mike Krahulik
  • Life on the Screen by Sherry Turkle
  • Designing Virtual Worlds -- Richard Bartle
  • Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games: The People, the Addiction and the Playing Experience -- Richard V. Kelly
  • Smartbomb: The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution -- Heather Chaplin
  • Avatars at Work Acting Corps and Play: Collaboration Acting Corps and Interaction in Shared Virtual Environments (Computer Supported Cooperative Work) -- Ralph Schroeder
  • Swords & Circuitry: A Designer's Guide to Computer Role-Playing Games (Game Development) -- Neal Hallford
  • Digital Gameplay: Essays on the Nexus of Game and Gamer -- Nate Garrelts
  • Game Developer's Market Guide -- Bob Bates
  • Better Game Characters by Design: A Psychological Approach (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Interactive 3D Technology) by Katherine Isbister
  • Creating Emotion in Games: the Craft and Art of Emotioneering -- David Freeman
  • Rules of Play: Games Design Fundamentals -- Katie Salen, Eric Zimmerman
  • Interactive Storytelling: Techniques for 21st Century Fiction -- Andrew Glassner



Games in Libraries Podcast.

Podcast about gaming in libraries - reviews, news, research, learning opportunities and more!


Beck, John C. and Mitchell Wade. The Kids Are Alright: How the Gamer Generation is Changing The Workplace. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Business School Press, 2004.

Research on how gamers think & act differently than their boomer aged business colleagues.

Castronova, Edward. Synthetic Worlds: The Business and Culture of Online Games. University Of Chicago Press, 2005.

An examination of virtual economies.

Cassell, Justine and Henry Jenkins (Eds). From Barbie to Mortal Kombat: Gender and Computer Games. Cambridge: MIT Pres, 1999.

Essays on gender and gaming.

Chaplin, Heather and Aaron Ruby. Smartbomb : The Quest for Art, Entertainment, and Big Bucks in the Videogame Revolution. Algonquin Books, 2005.

History of video game economy.

Kutner, Lawrence & Cheryl Olson. Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do. Simon & Schuster, 2008.

Results of a study on the effects of video game violence with young teenagers.

Compton, Shanna. Gamers: Writers, Artists and Programmers on the Pleasures of Pixels. Soft Skull Press, 2004.

Essays on gaming.

DeMaria, Rusel and Johnny Lee Wilson. High Score! The Illustrated History of Electronic Games. McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2002.

A glossy, visual timeline of video game industry.

Gee, James Paul. What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Palgrave McMillan, 2003.

Examples of thirty-two learning principles gleaned from playing video game, such as reward for practice, formation of affinity group and just in time learning.

Hutchinson, David. [ Playing to Learn: Video Games in the Classroom. Teacher Ideas Press/Libraries Unlimited, 2007.

Over 100 classroom activities related to gaming that do not have to include any actual video game play.

Johnson, Steven. Everything Bad is Good for You: How Today’s Pop Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter. Riverhead, 2005.

Exposition on how multimedia and multiple storylines develop new parts of the brain.

King, Brad and John Borland. Dungeons and Dreamers: The Rise of Computer Game Culture from Geek to Chic. McGraw-Hill Osborne Media, 2003.

History of video games.


Kirsch, Breanne.  Games in Libraries:  Essays on Using Play to Connect and Instruct.  McFarland, 2014. 

Levine, Jenny. "Gaming In Libraries: Intersection of Services". Library Technology Reports, 42:5. ALATechsource, 2006.

Advances the concept of games in libraries, includes an overview of selected sessions from Gaming, Learning & Libraries symposium.

Levine, Jenny. "Gaming and Libraries Update: Broadening the Intersections". Library Technology Reports, 44:3. ALATechsource, 2008.

Update to the 2006 Library Technology Report, Gaming In Libraries: Intersection of Resources.

Neiburger, Eli. the Library?: The Why, What & How of Video Game Tournaments for All Ages. ALA Editions, 2007.

Definitive guide to gaming tournaments.

Pierce, Jennifer Burek. Sex, Brains & Video Games: The Librarian's Guide to Teens in the Twenty-First Century. ALA Editions, 2007.

Snapshot of growing up in America in the new millennium with a focus on brain development

Prensky, Mark. Digital Game-Based Learning. McGraw Hill, 2004.

Application of video games and multimedia productivy softwares to education.

Prensky, Mark. Don’t Bother Me, Mom—I’m Learning! Paragon House Publishers, 2006. An argument for video games in education.

Steinmetz, William. LAN Party: Hosting the Ultimate Fragfest. Wiley, 2004.

Nuts & bolts on using your local are network to host computer gaming events.

Tapscott, Don. Growing Up Digital: The Rise of the Net Generation. McGraw Hill, 1999.

Discussion of 'net generation/millennial generation.



Armstrong, Sara and David Warlick, David. ”The New Literacies.” TechLearning. September 15, 2004. April 14, 2008.

Puts forth the theory that reading, writing & arithmetic are not the only skills today's learners need.

Braun, Linda W. “What’s in a Game?” VOYA, August 2004 pp. 189.

A look at why libraries might want to start paying attention to gaming.

Gallaway, Beth and Alissa Lauzon. “I Can’t Dance Without Arrows: Getting Active @ your library with video game programs.” YALS, Summer 2006. pp. 20-25.

Focus on how DDR meets teen developmental needs.

Gunn, Moira. “Dr. Henry Jenkins: Video Games and Education.” Tech Nation. March 15, 2005. April 14, 2008.

Podcast with Dr. Jenkins on learning in video games.

Helmrich, Erin and Eli Neiburger. “Video Games as a Service: Hosting Tournaments at your library.” VOYA, 27 (6) 450-453. http"// April 14, 2008.

Step-by-step instructions for hosting gaming programs.

Nicholson, Scott. (2007). The Role of Gaming in Libraries: Taking the Pulse. April 14, 2008.

Results from a 400 library survey that reveals gaming of all types is more prevalent in today's public libraries than one might think.

Squire, Kurt and Constance Steinkuehler. “Meet the Gamers: They Research, Teach, Learn, and Collaborate. So far, without libraries.” Library Journal, April 15, 2005 v130 i7 p38(4). []. April 14, 2008.

Great persuasive article on serving gamers.

Wilson, Heather. (2005). “Gaming for Librarians: An Introduction.” VOYA 27 (6): 446-4449. April 14, 2008.

Straightforward introduction to video games, for librarians.



ALA. Gaming in Libraries. April 9, 2008.

Links to blog and wiki

Nicholson, Scott.  Because Play Matters blog

Games Learning Society

Farmer, Sandy.  (2010). "Gaming 2.0."  American Libraries.  March 28, 2015.

Anderson, Craig. “Violent Video Games: The Myths, the Facts, and Unanswered Questions.” APA. April 14, 2008.

Discussion of concerns about violence in video games.

ESA. Essential Facts About the Computer and Game Industry. ESA. 2006. April 14, 2008.

Statistics about who plays games and the gaming industry, useful in creating talking points about video games.

Gallaway, Beth. "Get Your Game On: What Makes a Good Game, Anyway? VOYA. April 14, 2008.

Article on evaluating video games for circulation.

Infopeople. Resources for Gaming in Libraries. April 14, 2008.

Excellent collection of online resources for getting started with gaming at your library

Jenkins, Henry. “Reality Bytes: Eight Myths About Video Games Debunked.” The Video Game Revolution. April 14, 2008.

Great for greating talking points about gaming and libraries.

Lenhart, Amanda et al. " Family, Friends & Community." Pew Internet & American Life Project. July 2005. April 14, 2008.

Results from a survey about how teens use technology. This is only one of many useful reports from Pew.

LesbianGamers. Video games news, reviews, release dates, discussion forum, lesbian gamer feature articles and interviews, gaming groups, Vlog video content, G3/GGWG (Gay Gals who Game), Gamebook (female games characters on Facebook)

LibGaming Google Group. April 14, 2008.

Email distribution list and online forums for discussion of gaming in all kinds of libraries. Low number of messages a day, over 500 members.

Nicholson, Scott. (2007). Board Games With Scott. April 14, 2008.

Online video tutorials on how to play board & card games.

Poussaint, LaVerne. "Kanada's Kids"

Blog about NanoArt and NanoGaming vis-à-vis science education; hosted by The International NanoScience Community (TINC) site. Kanada was an ancient Hindu sage and alchemist who developed theory regarding atoms and diatomic and triatomic molecules.

Scalzo, John. Video Game Librarian. April 14, 2008.

Blog about gaming in libraries, with news & reviews.

Schwarzwalder, Jami. The Mario Brothers Memorial Public Library. April 14, 2008.

Core collections for board & video games, and sample policy or circulating video games.

Stackpole, Michael. The Pulling Report. 1990. June 20, 2008.

Refutes accusations that Dungeons & Dragons is Satanic.

WebJunction Staff. "Got Games?", Nov 7, 2006. April 14, 2008.

Discussion, article & resources.

Wolfwater, Meredith, et al. “Gaming.” Library Successes: A Best Practices Wiki. April 14, 2008.

Collaborative resource with calendar of gaming events and best practices examples.

YALSA Teen Gaming Interest Group. April 14, 2008

Log in with your ALA # & password, click "YALSA," and select "Teen Gaming Interest Group" for program & collection ideas.

YALSA. "Gaming Lists & Activities." April 14, 2008.

Annotated list of 50 core collection titles.

Yee, Nick. The Daedelus Project. April 14, 2008.

MMOG research & statistics.

Gaming Conferences

Professional Development Opportunities related to Gaming

Game Developers Conference (GDC)

Gaming, Learning & Libraries Symposium

Gen Con

Meaningful Play

Arcade Expo (PAX)

Scratch @ MIT Conference

Serious Games Summit

Virtual Worlds Expo