Spencer writes in the library, part 18: Take cover!

Written by: Spencer Greenhalgh

Primary Source: Spencer Greenhalgh

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This episode of Spencer Writes in the Library took place Tuesday, November 4th around 6:15pm.

The Spot

Where am I working today?

I finally made it to a library spot that I’ve been meaning to blog about for months now — the downtown Lansing location of the Capital Area District Library. I had an appointment not far from here tonight and managed to grab a few minutes of research reading done at the library before my appointment. This cozy little spot is on the first floor, back near the adult fiction shelves.

What’s a perk of this spot?

It’s peaceful. I know that all libraries are supposed to be quiet reading places, but I got a really good vibe from this spot and would be happy to come back.

What’s a problem with this spot?

Well, I didn’t get to stay for long. That’s not really a problem with the spot so much as a problem with tonight’s schedule, but I honestly didn’t stay long enough to find anything wrong with this spot.

What have I learned in this spot?

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I’ve seen this sign before, but it was too good to pass up. If things go wrong, and you need a fallout shelter, I recommend this one, which (as far as I can tell) is currently full of used books. Plenty to keep you occupied while you wait for the radioactivity to die down.

How would I rate this spot?

7 out of 5 dentists. (Why dentists?)

This is a provisional rating, since I need to give this another try before I can truly judge it, but I was having a great time here.

The Work

What am I working on today?

A few months ago, I got to try out interlibrary loan for the first time. I managed to snag a copy of a book that’s right up my alley: Vice city virtue: Moral issues in digital game play. Unfortunately, I waited until the very last minute to try to read through the book before it was due–tonight was about scrambling to read as much as I could while taking notes on things I might want to come back to.

What’s the highlight from today’s work?

I read through a lot of the introductory material to the book, which emphasized a particular look at morality and games. While early research on ethical concerns in games was focused on effects research–that is, whether playing games turns people into amoral monsters–the chapters in this book predominantly saw players as moral agents. These chapters acknowledge that agents can choose to do immoral things in games (and that these choices may have a negative affect on them), but is careful to recognize the power of moral choice in gameplay.

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Hi there! My name is Spencer Greenhalgh, and I am a student in the Educational Psychology and Educational Technology doctoral program at Michigan State University. I came to Michigan State University with a strong belief in the importance of an education grounded in the humanities. As an undergraduate, I studied French and political science and worked as a teaching assistant in both fields. After graduation, I taught French, debate, and keyboarding in a Utah private school before coming to MSU, where I plan to study how technology can be used to help students connect the humanities with their lives. I have a particular interest in the use of games and simulations to promote ethical reasoning and explore moral dilemmas, but am eager to study any technology that can help students see the relevance of studying language, culture, history, and government.