Remember the online karaoke website, SingShot? Your first introduction to it may have been Fame at the Teens & Technology preconference last January in San Antonio.

I’m not clear if the site was originally owned by Maxis’ EA Games, with intent to launch another Sims Expansion pack, but I don’t care if it was a bait & switch, because the tools are really cool, like Movie Mashups – you can make your own machinima music videos with clips and stills from the Sims. You can create an avatar of yourself that looks like a Sims character. Plus, they added 100 new songs at the beginning of month, and this may become a regular thing: over 80 new titles were added at the end of September, with hits from current pop artists like Teddy Gieger, Nickleback and Fallout Boy, plus a nice mix of country, R&B, and Christian artists as well.

I was relieved to see that even though the focus of the site has changed, the songs I recorded last year are still there. I was terribly disappointed I couldn’t get it to work in Firefox on my Mac, but it was fine in Safari.

Recording music and poetry, creating an avatar and making machinima via the free tools provided with Singshot may be a way to provide free cheap and easy programming for teens at your library. Check it out! And stay tuned for details on the Midwinter Meeting Gaming Festival, where you’ll get a chance to learn more about and exchange avatars, machinima, and more.

About Beth Gallaway

Beth Gallaway was named a Library Journal Mover & Shaker in 2006 for her work in advocating for videogames in libraries. She is an independent library trainer/consultant specializing in gaming, technology, and youth services, and is a YALSA certified Serving the Underserved (SUS) trainer.

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