Image of a Nintendo Switch controller held in front of the game Zelda: Breath of the Wild' on a TV screen.

We Got Game(s)

The year is 1997. It’s Friday night, you’ve just finished your homework, and mom is ordering pizza for dinner. But first it’s time to take a trip to your local video store to rent some entertainment for the weekend!

Image of a stack of old TVs displaying retro games in a dimly lit room.

As a child this was always my favorite time of the week. The exciting prospect of browsing the aisles of video games to find the right gem that will have a chokehold on my focus for the weekend to come. Nowadays it seems that video rental stores are a thing of the past, save for one last lonely Blockbuster Video in Bend, Oregon. Can you still remember the names of the video stores you frequented in the 2000s? The 1990s? Maybe even the 1980s?! Growing up, our two choices were Planet Video and Mr. Movies. I can still picture the exterior of these delightfully charming stores in all their glory.

As a lifelong gamer, I yearn for the glow of the neon lights, rows of TVs showing the latest movie releases, and aisles of snacks that occupied the store fronts of video rental stores. Though that thrilling ritual might seem like a thing of the past, the excitement of checking out video games is alive and well here at L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library. Ranging from E for everyone to M for Mature, the library’s collection offers a wide range of video games for your perusal to take home and play for a week at a time. From Nintendo to PlayStation to Xbox, we have you covered. I find solace in having the option of checking out video games from my local library, since the government hasn’t given us Time Travel….yet!

There are many benefits to using the library as your new spot to check out video games, as well as video game consoles if you do not own one already.

The first and foremost important benefit is they are completely free! Say it with me children: “FREE VIDEO GAMES!”. Just like items in the rest of the collection, video games are completely free to check out! Let’s see you do THAT, Blockbuster! Since you don’t have to worry about spending money to check out materials, the library is a great resource for expensive media. Modern consoles and software prices seem to be getting higher as the years go on. A new game from a major developer can run your wallet down quickly, with games ranging in price from $60-$70. I know, right?

Closeup of a retro SNES game controller

For this reason, if you are an adult with a passion for gaming (as well as a tight budget), the library is a fantastic choice! You are able to Try Before You Buy, as the options available in our collection include NEW releases! The library offers video games for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, as well as Xbox One. In addition to the new releases, you will also find previous generation games for the Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 4, and Xbox 360. You want to see how the new Super Mario and Call of Duty games stack up to the games you already own? Try them out for a week, and see if a new game is the right fit for you.

If you are a parent, and you worry about spending such a high price on a game that the kiddos might only express interest in for a week, a day, maybe hours, checking out a game or two for the weekend is just what you need. And if you can’t decide what games to try, I suggest checking the Library of Things as we have two gaming options in the form of Mini Consoles. The Library Of Things offers the SNES mini and PlayStation classic which come preloaded with a decent selection of games, 2 controllers, and a simple Plug-N-Play set up — a great option for those with a taste for retro games, and maybe you want to show your kids who the Donkey Kong Country master truly is! (You!)

Now that you’ve got your games selected, the weekend is yours! Now, where is that pizza?!


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