The NYU Game Center Open Library is a two branch library with a growing collection of over 2,000 digital and non-digital games. The library supports the Game Center’s undergraduate and graduate coursework, promoting game literacy, critical examination of play, and community engagement through hands-on access to the design history of games.
Branch Locations & Hours
At our main branch, find our complete collection of digital games, non-digital games, and game design books. Here our knowledgeable staff of student librarians can answer your questions about Game Center classes, events, and degrees.
Visit the main branch on Thursdays from 5-7PM for our weekly event, Playtest Thursday, where Game Center students as well as local NYC developers bring their games out to test. Bring your digital, nondigital, physical, or any other kind of prototype, play other people’s games, and enjoy some free pizza. The only rule is to give as much feedback as you get! Playtest Thursday is usually followed by a lecture, workshop, or other event, making Thursday nights one of the best times to visit the Game Center.
The Manhattan branch is a librarian-curated selection from the larger collection. Stop by the Manhattan branch between classes to play a rotating collection of key video games, play games made by NYU Game Center students, do your Games 101 homework, talk with librarians about the program, and meet other folks passionate about design and play.
Our catalog is available online for researchers and/or anyone looking for particular game or set of games. The catalog is listed here.
Need to study a rare game or collection of games for a class? We gladly take inquiries and requests! Many of the library’s most interesting acquisitions are requested by students across the university who are researching a particular aspect of game design and history, like FPS mods from the 1990s or international versioning of Pokemon. To inquire about the collection and potential requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit either branch and talk with a librarian.
A major part of the Open Library collection comes from generous donations from the game community all over the country. We’re always accepting donations consoles, discs, cartridges, controllers, non-digital games, and print materials.
To donate or find out more information about donating, please email email@example.com.
Events & Curations
The NYU Game Center Open Library is home to many events that celebrate the history, archival, preservation, and play of games. Open Library events aim to explore new and interesting ways to use the library’s collection and resources in unique and playful ways.
Past Library events have included:
- Pressing Restart: Community Discussions on Video Game Preservation: a day long conference put on by Rebecca Hernandez-Gerber and NYU’s MIAP Program which explored some of the unique issues facing video game archiving. For more, check out this response to the conference on the Atlantic,“How Will Historians Study Video Games” written by MFA Alumni Ilya Zarembsky.
- When Games Went Click: The Tennis for Two Story: a premiere of a documentary on the game Tennis for Two followed by a Q&A with some of the lead historians who contributed to the documentary. Before the premiere, the library featured a curation of tennis games from throughout history put together by Professor Bennett Foddy.
- Artemis: A Night on the Bridge: the Library was transformed into the deck of the Enterprise for an evening, when librarians, students, and Artemis fans took advantage of the library’s many PCs and TVs to run a twenty-person, three ship game of the part LARP, part action game space-ship simulator.
The Open Library frequently features curations put together by NYU Game Center faculty, students, and NYU Game Center Librarians. Curations create conversations between the games in the collection by exploring a particular mechanic or theme or highlighting a particular genre, trend, or moment in game design and history.
To see a few of the past curations check out:
- Bad is Beautiful by Owen McLean, Game Center Librarian
- C’est la Video Game by Andy Sebela, Game Center Librarian
- Gender Play by Gwynna Forgham-Thrift, Game Center Librarian
- Swords in Games by Harry Rabinowitz, Game Center Librarian
Work at the NYU Game Center Open Library
The NYU Game Center hires NYU undergraduate students for both the Manhattan and Brooklyn branches of the Open Library throughout the year.
Being a NYU Game Center Open Librarian is a unique opportunity to be at the center of one of the most active collections of games in the world and the growing NYU Game Center community. Ideal candidates are students who think deeply about games and the contexts in which we play them. Librarians have opportunities to add their voice and perspective on games and the meaning of a game library in the form of curating game collections, creating events, exhibitions, and programs, and helping shape the library’s archive system and inventory.
More information about the position can be found here. To apply, please send resumes and questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Students in any department or school are welcome to apply. Having taken Games 101 is desired.