International Games Day @ your library is an initiative run by volunteers from around the world and auspiced by the American Library Association, in partnership with Nordic Game Day and the Australian Library and Information Association, to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games.
It is completely free to participate! In fact it is cheaper than free, because after registering you stand a chance to get free donations for your library, and this site hosts a free press kit with press release templates and posters. You can register at http://bit.ly/igd14.
In the 21st century, libraries are about much more than books. On Saturday, November 15, 2014, more than one thousand libraries around the world will showcase gaming programs and services in support of IGD14. This year marks our 7th annual event.
In the past 6 years:
- We've had 132,770 confirmed individual participants, and we think around 220,000 actual participants.
- 7420 libraries have registered to participate.
- Of those, 141 were non-US; 87 of those 141 happened last year alone. (This doesn't include most participants of Nordic Game Day, which had its own registration process.)
- 286 libraries have participated in videogame tournaments.
- 1077 people at 98 libraries have participated in Global Gossip.
- We've been in 43 countries (counting Antarctica as a country, which technically it isn't) on all 7 continents: Antarctica, Australia, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Greece, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Italy, Ivory Coast, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Norway, Pakistan, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovakia, South Africa, Sweden, Uganda, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Gaming of all types at the library encourages young patrons to interact with a diverse group of peers, share their expertise with others (including adults), and develop new strategies for gaming and learning. Plus, it's a way for traditionally underserved groups to have fun in the library and interact with other members of the community. Games Day is a great opportunity for families to get out of the house and play together in the one community institution that welcomes everyone.
In addition to local activities, each year volunteers coordinate two inter-library activities for International Games Day.
The first is a video game tournament. We'll be using the Ann Arbor District Library's GT software again for this year's tournaments, and Ann Arbor are promising a real extravaganza - an international Minecraft Hunger Games, less than a week before the release of Mockingjay Part 1 on November 21! Participating libraries organize a local tournament during which their players compete each other, and ultimately - maybe - against players at other libraries for national, and perhaps international, bragging rights!
The second is the Global Gossip Game, which takes the familiar game of whispering secrets from one player to another and laughing at how the phrase changes, and has it travelling from library to library around the world. The first year we started in Melbourne, Australia, traveled through 7 languages on all 6 inhabited continents, and finished in Homer, Alaska 26 hours later, with the phrase changing from "Life must be lived as play" to "He bites snails"! In 2013, thanks to the participation of an Australian Antarctic base, we traveled through all seven continents, and split 5 times, morphing from "Play is training for the unexpected" into "I love the world", "Zombie", "Clouds travel around the world", "Glow, glow, peanut butter jelly", and "Ian needs help"! (Maybe Ian is a snail?) And this year, we're already planning to go even bigger!
In addition, ALA partners with donors to provide free copies of games for libraries across the country. Our donors for 2014 are:
- GameTable Online [International]
- Good Games [Australia]
- Konami [USA]
- Looney Labs [USA and Canada]
- Paizo [USA]
- Ravensburger [USA]
- Simply Fun [USA]
- Starline Publishing [International]
- Steve Jackson Games [USA]
- USAopoly [USA]
Past donors have included companies such as AlphaBound, FamilyAndPartyGames.com, GameTable Online, Hasbro, Heartland Products, Konami, North Star Games, Paizo, PopCap, Ravensburger, USAopoly, and Wizards of the Coast. (Thanks again to all of them!) Please contact us if your company is interested in sponsoring International Games Day or donating games, prizes, or snacks to local libraries.
Libraries that want to participate in this year's event need to register online (at http://bit.ly/igd14) in order to participate in the international events (Minecraft Hunger Games and/or Global Gossip Game), receive free donations (while available), and appear on the international map of participating locations.