Las Vegas is a place where slot machines in grocery stores are commonplace, people travel from around the world to try their luck at the tables, and thousands of dollars are won and lost each day. This is the place for those who enjoy the fun, or the emotional rollercoaster, gambling provides.
El Rancho Las Vegas, Playing Craps, 1950s
The Center for Gaming Research, which attracts gaming researchers worldwide to the UNLV Libraries, is a natural fit for a community that thrives on excitement.
The Center for Gaming Research directly supports scholarly research through its Gaming Research Fellows Program. Each year, six scholars are selected to complete residencies with UNLV Libraries’ Special Collections and work with unique material in our collections to produce original research, sharing it through a lecture series hosted by UNLV Libraries’ Special Collections. This year’s Gaming Research Colloquium Series began January 31st and will continue through May 16th.
The lecture topics are as wildly diverse as the backgrounds of the scholars –colloquia focus on topics like surveillance and the marketing of vice, the birth of probability, visual metaphor, capitalism, pleasure meccas, and citizen science, to name a few. All shed new light on the intersections of gaming and social science or humanities research. “Advertising Parenting in Las Vegas: An Analysis of Time and Space” is the next lecture in the series. It will be delivered by Diana Tracy Cohen, an assistant professor of political science hailing from Central Connecticut State University, on March 28th at 3:30pm.
These colloquia strike right at the heart of the Gaming Research Center’s purpose by stimulating rigorous inquiry into the legacy of gaming, its secretive industry techniques, and its influence upon all elements of society, economy, and culture.
The fellowship concept—of supporting new academic inquiry into all forms of gambling and drawing on the rare and unique materials at the University Libraries—perfectly symbolizes how the Center has emerged as a nexus for information, research, and learning around Nevada’s most prominent industry.
Since 2007, the Center has awarded more than two dozen of these fellowships, inviting monthly talks by visiting scholars, UNLV faculty members, and guests on a variety of gambling and Las Vegas topics. These events are open to the public. Faculty members are encouraged to inform their students of the series, so that they may explore the history and science behind the industry that fuels Las Vegas.
In case you miss any of these lectures, the UNLV Center for Gaming Research records them to be transmitted through the UNLV Gaming Podcast as part of an effort to bring the successful Gaming Research Colloquium Series to a broader audience. These can be accessed online at: http://gaming.unlv.edu/podcast.html.
The Center’s Gaming Collection is the world's premier research repository of information relating to gambling and commercial gaming. The collections document the history and statistical basis of games and gambling; the economics and regulation of the gaming industry; the psychological, social, and political effects of gambling; and the history of specific hotels and casinos. Because of the global scope of today's gaming industry, the collection embraces not only Las Vegas and Nevada gaming, but gambling throughout the world.
For more information:
Center for Gaming Research in UNLV Libraries: gaming.unlv.edu.
Lecture and Event schedule: http://gaming.unlv.edu/about/events.html
From UNLV Digital Collections, “Dreaming the Skyline,” http://digital.library.unlv.edu/u?/sky,109.