Hi everyone! Just some initial feedback on the day - final numbers and such to come once we get our surveys back from you all. You should all have received the link via email, or else should receive it soon, but given our problems with spam filters this year, I'm going to post the link here as well.
Please fill out your surveys at http://bit.ly/igd14survey!
It helps us hugely in talking to potential donors, journalists, other library bodies, and administrators. (Plus it makes all your achievements in making IGD happen in your local community visible to more people - to each other and to the rest of the world!)
However, even before that's posted, I can say that signs point to IGD being hugely successful this year!
After a reasonably thorough attempt to remove duplicate registrations, junk/test/partial registrations, and so on, we're left with a little over 1250 valid, unique registrations (1257 to be precise).
The thing is, it's become clear to me that in Australia at least there are several library services that have used a single registration while actually running IGD at several branches! Just through local Melbourne word of mouth I know of about a dozen libraries that participated but didn't register. I'm happy calling this as around 1300 libraries in IGD this year.
Add to that the fact that only 25 libraries registered with IGD from Scandinavian countries, whereas 115 were registered with our partner event Nordic Game Day, and that's another 90 libraries playing along with us last Saturday.
So, all things considered, I'm comfortable bumping our ballpark total for the year to
1400 libraries celebrating International Games Day!
(Pretty good for a volunteer-run event!)
OK, so we didn't get Antarctica again this year, or that other interesting travelling library I was hoping to get. But we did reach every settled continent once again! Here's our breakdown of where those registered libraries were located:
Argentina (3), Australia (75), Bangladesh (1), Belarus (1), Bosnia and Herzegovina (1), Canada (26), China (2), Croatia (1), Cuba (1), Denmark (10, or 30 NGD), Finland (3, or 34 NGD), Germany (7), Greenland [Denmark] (1, included in above), Honduras (1), Iceland (2, or 4 NGD), India (1), Indonesia (1), Iran (1), Ireland (1), Italy (10), Japan (3), Kosovo (1), Nigeria (1), Northern Mariana Islands (1), Norway (5, or 35 NGD), Paraguay (2), Philippines (3), Portugal (2), Romania (1), Russian Federation (1), Serbia (1), South Africa (1), Sweden (5, or 12 NGD), UK (16), USA (1151).
Global Gossip Game
The GGG was successful again this year, despite a slight increase in numbers (80 slots, 79 libraries), a reasonable jump in complexity (4 official branches, more international transfers and libraries with special communications requirements), and a couple more glitches on the day than last year. It ran for a total of 26 hours, 30 minutes, starting in Scoresby, Victoria, Australia and finishing in Clinton, WI, USA. I'll be publishing a final report as soon as I can (once I get back all the Gossip logs) and will link to it from here.
International Minecraft Hunger Games
In case you missed the last post, we have a winner! Congratulations to Denver Public Library, Grafton Library, Providence Community Library, and Stadtbücherei Münster for their regional victories; to Rexalicious of Munster for achieving runner-up status; and to CadyBrun of Providence, Rhode Island, for the final victory in the inaugural International Minecraft Hunger Games! See AADL's post for details.
Otherwise, I'm holding off on proper thanks as the full final report is still to come - but thanks again to all of you for joining and making all this possible! Hope you had fun, and keep reading - after this post there's ANOTHER surprise on the way! And if what I'm hearing is any indication, the final report should - as usual - be chock-full of terrific stories.
SALUTES THE TRIBUTES
MINECRAFT HUNGER GAMES
There were legends. Legends of a time when The Brothers of Super Smash Brawled across the Nation, delighting libraries of all types. With GT SYSTEM the glue that knitted cultures together, Libraries sent their bravest warriors into battle, with only one Library standing at the end of each November.
But one day, that all came to an end. Nintendo shut down the Brawl Servers, and the International Gaming Day Faithful looked to Michigan, wondering what could possibly come next, to fill the void left by this epic event that, since 2008, had held happy fighters at libraries across the nation.
Out of the ashes of a vanished server infrastructure arose a new opportunity; taking players not only from across the country but around the world into the worlds of Minecraft, trapping them in arenas, and forcing them to fight. To the death. Just like in the book!
Library districts arose across the Globe. Eventually 94 Districts organized themselves, 70 from what some would call Panem, 11 from the mysterious Old World of Europe, and 14 from the dangerous coasts of Australia. Each District chose a number and a specialty, and promised two Tributes, one Boy, and one Girl, to fight for their honor on International Games Day.
With a Minecraft Hunger Games server made available to each District, Reapings began in the week leading up to the day itself, as Libraries sent their young Minecrafters into battle to determine which among them possessed the skill, the knowledge, and the spirit to become a Victor.
With all in readiness, the Regional Semifinals swept across the globe with the night, beginning with the Australian Regionals. The Arena welcomed Tributes from Districts like District 79, Ivanhoe Library: The Art Deco Clock District, and District 150 in Monash, the Surprisingly Good Takeaway District. Eventually the two young Tributes from District 246, the Grafton Library in Grafton, NSW, survived to become the Australian Victors, ready to represent their Nation in the International Minecraft Hunger Games. GTSYSTEM Salutes the Tributes from all the Australian Districts, who fought with bravery and honor in the Arena, only to perish at the hands of the Tributes from Grafton.
Then the wave of battle reached Europe, and Tributes from Germany and Scandanavia met at the Server of the University library "Svetozar Markovic" in Belgrade, Serbia, the Science District. When the cannon had roared for the last time, the Tributes from District 447 at Stadtbücherei Münster in Germany, the Surviving You district, had indeed survived and claimed the right to represent all of the old world against the roiling masses of Minecraft Enthusiasts to be found across the Atlantic.
At last it was time for the 70 North American Districts to fight for supremacy. The Arena swelled with Tributes, leading to a quick split into two Arenas; one for the densely-districted East Coast, and another for the rest of what had once been North America. After much Minecraft Mayhem, the Tributes from District 708 in Providence, Rhode Island, the Advanced Wizardry District, had become Victors of the East, while the Tributes from District 303 at Denver Public Library, the Hatching Schemes District, had won out the west. Many Tributes lay where they had fallen, often for full seconds, before jumping up and joining other Arenas to play for "fun".
There was no hope for the Tributes. 8 skilled young players had fought their way to Victory and a place in the International Minecraft Hunger Games finals, but only one would survive. The Tributes found themselves in a small arena with few places to hide and even fewer chests to find weapons or sustenance. Before long, only two Tributes still lived; Rexalicious from StaBüMü in Germany, and CadyBrun from Providence. They charged at each other, bringing the week of competition to an intense climax. When the pixelly dust had settled Rex had fallen... and CadyBrun had survived.
CadyBrun, the Tribute from District 708 in Providence Rhode Island, playing at the Providence Community Library, had won the 2014 International Minecraft Hunger Games for International Gaming Day. With thousands of matches played throughout the week, and more than 50 Minecraft servers operating at once, the event had been a resounding success, leaving only one question:
What will the Gamemakers at GTSYSTEM, a service of Ann Arbor District Library, come up with next year?
Hi everyone! While the official date has been and gone, one of the core tenets of IGD is that any library that wants to host it should be able to make it work for their particular interests and needs - and that extends to the date of your local event. To highlight this, and to give us a little additional content for our week after, we'll be posting a couple of guest posts from the University of Kentucky, also known as UK, who are running an IGD event this coming week: one introducing their plans for the event and the second reporting on how it all went.
International Games Day at UK
The University of Kentucky (UK) will be hosting an international games day as part of its International Education Week activities. UK Libraries is partnering with the Media Depot (Analytics and Technology) and the Robert E. Hemenway Writing Center (College of Arts and Sciences) to host the event on Wednesday, November 19th. This date was chosen because it was in the middle of International Education Week and a peak day for students to be in the library, so there would be more of an opportunity to foster interaction among students from different countries. A number of ideas were explored, including hooking up with a group in another part of the world, but the date and time did not provide the opportunity to make that connection.
The event is still evolving but current plans are to have four gaming areas. There will be card games, board games, and video games available. In order to promote global awareness, a “Jeopardy” game has been developed and incorporates questions solicited from the international student population. To create a festive atmosphere there will be fresh popped popcorn and soft drinks available.
Students have been involved in a large part of planning. Undergraduate student interns developed and executed the public relations plan, students from the International Conversation Hour provided “Jeopardy” questions about their countries, and an undergraduate student intern designed the Jeopardy Powerpoint. The event will be held in “the Hub @ W.T.’s.” (also known as Willie T’s by the student population) in the William T. Young Library from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. The goal of the event is to promote cultural awareness among our students by providing a venue for our foreign and domestic students to come together in an unstructured social atmosphere. This is the first time such an event has been hosted, but if successful, it could be an annual event as part of International Education Week.
Thanks to the good folks from UK for sharing this! It's a great use of games as a way to build community in a low-pressure, friendly context. I look forward to hearing - and sharing - how it all went!
Hi everyone! We just realised that we haven't done our annual blog post swap with Nordic Game Day - so we're going to sneak it in before the big day. Here's NGD co-ordinator Lone Hejlskov Munkeberg with a bit of information about this partner event!
Hi from Nordic Game Day!
Phil from International Games Day has invited me to tell you a bit about how we work.
As we are closing in on the date November 15th, the Nordic libraries are doing the final preparations for the Nordic Game Day and International Games Day.
This year we have representatives from all the Nordic countries, since for the very first time we can welcome four Icelandic libraries to the community. All in all there will be 115 attending libraries in Denmark (30) - including the first attending library from Greenland! - Finland (34), Iceland (4), Norway (35) and Sweden (12). In Finland they just can’t get enough - since they are having a game WEEK. Way to go!
The Nordic event is supported by the Nordic Game Institute and the Nordic Council of Ministers. Even though it is supported by them, it is very much a community-driven event. The attending libraries all set up local initiatives and events. More about that later on.
As a coordinator I have different tasks. I make sure that the event has a new poster every year, created by a local graphic Artist (Pernille Sihm). I ensure there is established contact between the developers, publishers, game critics and the libraries. I post news on the blog, Twitter and Facebook etc. This year we have been able to send out free merchandise and boardgames for the libraries. This underlines that both the videogames industry and the boardgame publishers also support the event - they too want games to be as visible and accessible as possible in libraries!
Another coordinating task is the annual browser game tournament. And this year we have chosen a semi bald naked guy on a mini bike to run the competition, since we will be competing in the very cool browser game Icycle, by the British indie developer Damp Gnat! At stake are cool prizes like Samsung Galaxy TAB 4 10.1” WIFI and gift certificates to the online service OnePlay - who has a digital library lending service.
Locally all kinds of stuff is going on. There are talks from game critics, workshops, cosplay, manga, retrogames, FIFA tournaments, Minecraft LAN, ping pong, chess, card games and much more.
Some of the Nordic libraries are also participating in IGD initiatives, so we are exited that you once again will host great stuff like the Global Gossip Game and the International Minecraft Hunger Games tournament.
We wish you all a very cool Game Day!
Thanks Lone! And I'd just like to point out a mildly awesome fact: that Nordic Game Day is using a British game for their tournament, while IGD is using a Nordic (Swedish, to be precise) game for ours! We're international without even trying 🙂
Hi everyone! I have some news from the good folks at AADL.
We have at this moment 79 registered "Districts" (i.e. libraries) - 59 in North America, 9 in Europe, and 11 in Australia. Just the USA participation alone is more than twice the number in last year's Super Smash Bros. tournament! Mostly public libraries, and mostly in smaller towns, but a few University libraries.
(I'm also thrilled to see Australia so well represented - per capita, we're doing even better than the USA! Not that it's a contest... but if it were we would totally be winning 😛 And it's great to see so many of the European libraries getting on board as well. I hope you can use this as a springboard to get your local library associations on board too!)
Over the next week, each District will hold whatever qualifying events they choose to select the two players to represent their library, and the 2 selected Tributes from each of these libraries all over the world will be pitted against each other inside Minecraft arenas! Then, the International Minecraft Hunger Games regional semifinals, begin Saturday afternoon, November 15th.
Victors will advance to Regional Finals, and each regional Victor will then face off in an International Final Match!
Just pause for a second and appreciate what an achievement that is for libraries - because of what an opportunity that is for our communities. Most competitive computer gaming on this sort of scale is highly commercialised - and there's nothing inherently wrong with that, but it does heavily limit the opportunities for people to participate.
But here we have an international - no, intercontinental - eSports contest whose only barriers to entry are, just as they are for libraries generally, interest and motivation. AADL deserves a great deal of thanks and credit for making that possible, but the libraries who have taken up the opportunity should pride themselves on doing so.
I look forward to reporting the outcome of this fabulous event!