As you reflect on your 2011 National Gaming Day event, we hope you're also working on yourÂ DEMCO National Gaming Day contest entry to win a $3,000 Gaming Gear Package. Read the full details here to make sure all of your electronic paperwork is in order (the deadline is tomorrow, 12/14), because winning this prize can definitely make a difference in your library. Here's how winning last year's DEMCO contest helped the Malta Township Public Library.
"We are so thankful to have the gaming equipment. The greatest impact from having the Wii and Xbox packages was during summer reading. The gaming stations were set up in the Enchanted Forest (summer reading theme was A Midsummer Knight's Read) where pines, oaks, palms, cedars and ficas could be found containing dancing lights, fairies, and many other creatures. In order to gain access to the forest, kindergartners through 12th graders had to read for a minimum of 3 hours to earn 1/2 hour on the gaming equipment. They were allowed just one entry per week, but that was okay with them.
We always have a lot of reading going on, but this year, the number of individuals completing the program doubled that of last year. When I asked the kids why they read more, they all agreed it was to earn time gaming. I have never been a big proponent of gaming in libraries, but we have taken the concept and used it to increase literacy in our community We are excited about National Gaming Day 2011Â and will be participating.Â Since we have won already, we will not be entering [again], sharing the fun with others.Â Good luck to the next DEMCO winner.
Director, Malta Township Public Library"
What could your library do with this type of boost in support? Enter the contest and tell us!
The surveys are in, and what comes through loud and clear is that National Gaming Day @ your library continues to strengthen communities and bring diverse groups of people together. As the heart of the community, the library remains the most viable institution to bridge generational gaps, enable new social interactions, and reinforce positive connections in a truly inclusive environment.
This year's numbers and anecdotes again tell a story too often missing from today's news: families taking time to play together; teens and seniors teaching each other to play their favorite games; kids playing together who wouldn't even talk to each other at school; students from foreign countries playing universal games that overcome language barriers; kids learning how to play together, take turns, and demonstrate good sportsmanship; participants seeing their libraries and librarians in a new light; and so much more.
- Number of libraries registered to participate: 1,412
- Number of libraries that submitted # of players for NGD activities: 739
- Total number of players for NGD11 activities: 27,767
- Number of libraries that participated in the 4th National Super Smash Bros Brawl tournament: 39 (the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library won again)
- Number of libraries that participated in the 30th Anniversary Frogger High Score Contest: 7
- There was at least one library registered to participate in all 50 U.S. states (plus the Virgin Islands).
- Number of non-US libraries that participated (that we know of): 21 libraries in 14 countries
- The largest demographic group of attendees was families (21.9%), followed by a mix of ages (19.3%) and a mix of children and teens (18.9%)
But the numbers aren't the real story. Once again the true spirit of the day is what happens at each library, as the following anecdotes provided by librarians prove.
- "My favorite part of NGD is when kids who don't hang out together at school are here and behave like they have been the best of friends forever. And the way gaming brings different generations together through teamwork at beating the big boss in the video game or learning a new board game together. They are having fun without all the prejudices." - Wister (OK) Public Library
- "We had different generations of participants play the games together, with the college students showing a late 50's woman how to play Super Mario Brothers. The woman was all excited when she actually was able to get to the 2nd level and was amazed at the skill of the students who easily surpassed her score." - Courtright Memorial Library (Westerville, OH)
- "I loved the fact that some kids took the leadership role in our Gaming day...I overheard one child ask....'Mom....do you know how to play Memory?', 'I can teach you.' " - Appleton (MN) Public Library
- "As always, the interaction between players is astounding. Students of different ages and playing ability played next to each other, and the more experienced players were more than willing to share what they know." - St. Charles (IL) Public Library
- "It was really neat to see adults trying their hand at the Wii games, where kids & teens 'know it all', and then to see those same kids & teens learn some of the more 'traditional' games that the adults have grown up with and already know. Hmmm, learning from another generation...@ the library...who'd a thunk it?!?" - Citizens Library (Washington, PA)
- "A child who is new to the neighborhood made 2 friends at 'Get Your Game On.'" - Montvale (VA) Library
- "NGD helped promote intergenerational gaming. We had a group of different ages playing Scrabble. Each one shared a moment playing Words With Friends or other word games that have helped their vocabulary and that is why they wanted to play Scrabble at the event. We had two participants that were on the local high school chess team that offered pointers to others that wanted to learn and play (including myself). Watching the personalities of the children shine when writing answers for Loaded Questions and Awkward Family Photos was great to see. We all had laughs and enjoyed the time playing. Everyone had a great time dancing to all sorts of music in Dance Central 2 as well!" - Rossford (OH) Public Library
- "I loved seeing the kids all playing Zombies! and really going after each other. They played for over an hour and not one teen pulled their phone to text or anything. That is a unique thing that happened." - Belfry (KY) Public Library
- "Many good things happened during National Gaming Day including watching a pair of shy sisters come out of their shells and have a ball playing with others and watching an autistic boy who often has behavior problems playing with the other kids and enjoying the experience without any issues at all." - Mead Public Library (Sheboygan, WI)
- "The teens LOVED it when I could look at the Smash screen and tell them 'Your opponents are in (insert state name here).' It opened up a whole new world for them. Also, there was one boy who attended with an older sibling and had special needs. He was neither chronologically nor developmentally a teen, but the teens adopted him as one of their own, allowing him to have his turn and play alongside them. I was so proud of my teens!!" - Commerce Township (MI) Community Library
- "As a school with a school population that includes out of town dormers and residents of Chicago that usually do not interact, this event provided a forum for people who would otherwise not engage in activities together to find a common ground." - Saul Silber Memorial Library (Chicago, IL)
- "Sometimes when people mention how 'board games are dead,' I always tell them about the popularity of board games at the library! - Rensselaer (IN) Public Library
- "[FamilyAndPartyGames.com] sending us board games helped those really shy kids be able to play something. Normally those shy ones would just stand around and watch the video gamers, but this year they had fun playing. The teachers that were there got them to sit down and join them for some great laughs." - South Grand Prairie (TX) Ninth Grade Center
- "[Gaming] is BY FAR the most popular weekly program for teens in grades 6-12 and if they had their way, they would participate on a daily basis. It has been a crucial component in linking many of these teens with reading material as well - many SciFi and Fantasy publishers have series that build upon these games - it's a great opportunity to connect with gamers and make it a social experience!" - Mahopac (NY) Public Library
We also want to thank FamilyAndPartyGames.com for their generous donation this year, which helped make this year's National Gaming Day such a great event.
Take note: we're moving this annual event up a week from the second Saturday of each November to the first Saturday of the month, so the newly named 2012 International Games Day will take place on Saturday, November 3rd. Mark your calendars now so you're ready for next year!
How was your National Gaming Day event? We canâ€™t wait to hear about it! Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey at http://svy.mk/ngd11survey as soon as possible.
This survey of what happened at your 2011 event should only take a few minutes to complete, and it will help us gather a picture of what happened across the country (world!). We'll be posting the totals, along with some of your amazing anecdotes, here within about a week. We really appreciate your time in filling out the entire survey, because the information helps us to talk to donors, partners, and reporters.
Weâ€™ll also try to announce the date for National Gaming Day 2012 soon so that you can get it on your calendar. Thank you to everyone who participated this year!
Today is National Gaming Day @ your library, and communities everywhere are coming together to play games, meet new people, and just plain have fun.
Are you playing the FamilyAndPartyGames.com games at your library? Are you ramping up for the National SMASH BRAWL?
We can't wait to see your great pictures/videos (tagged #ngd11) and read the anecdotes from your event!
by Phil Minchin
National Gaming Day? Schmeh. We're underselling ourselves.
Check out that map of participants. There are a lot of international gamers joining American libraries on November 12.
I'm proud to be one. I work in library IT at the Port Phillip Library Service in Melbourne, Australia, but recently received a study grant to visit the USA to look at all aspects of games, libraries and how the two interact. (Yes, it was a huge topic - and an amazing trip.)
I went to Gen Con, WorldCon, and PAX Prime, talking to gamers and game makers; I visited a dozen libraries and spoke to folks from half a dozen more. And what I saw inspired me so much that I came back vowing that this year it would be International Gaming Day. So now I'm organising Australia's inaugural Gaming Day @ Your Library event at the State Library of Victoria, on Saturday November 12 (of course), from 10:30 to 4:00.
I realise of course that this isn't the first international event to tie in with NGD@yl. But I do think it's typical library self-effacement (and a bad thing) that it's still being billed at only a national level despite that.
The big lesson - or rather affirmation - of my trip was how natural a fit games and libraries are for each other. Libraries are about community - and games are an art form (yes, they are art, the NEA agrees) that generates strong, active communities. Indeed most games actually require people to gather together in order to experience them. And the National Gaming Day is living proof: in four years, look how it's grown - even beyond the borders of its founding country. Games without frontiers indeed - and no disrespect to Peter Gabriel, but in this form that's a really good thing.
So it's time to acknowledge - proudly - that NGD@yl is tapping into not just a national but a global love of this uniquely shared form of culture. It turns out that the NGD organisers are already planning to do this next year - but why wait? If you'd like to welcome international participants to the day, and celebrate the power of games to build and express community worldwide, I suggest modifying your posters along the lines shown. If you do, please send me photos - I'll show them to libraries over here as further proof of how games can build international bridges, and to motivate more participants for next year.
Thanks in advance, and have fun on November 12!
[Editor's note: Phil was kind enough to provide the following InterNational version of each size of the poster so that our international participants could use them as well. Thanks, Phil! And yes, the event will become International Gaming Day @ your library next year.]
- 8.5 x 11 (jpeg, 1.5MB)
- 8.5 x 11 with blank space for library info (jpeg, 1.34MB)
- 11 x 17 jpeg, 2.3MB (jpeg, 2.36MB)
- 11 x 17 with blank space for library info (jpeg, 2.17MB)
Philip Minchin is a library IT team leader at the Port Phillip Library Service. He recently won a travel grant from the Spydus Users Network (sponsored by Civica Library & Learning) to visit the US to study games in libraries, had an absolute ball, learned a ton, and is busy sharing the love. If you're interested in learning more about his trip, or his findings, you can contact him at pminchin [at] portphillip.vic.gov.au .