International Games Week October 29 – November 4

International Games Week

Library Pokémon Battle Map

Posted on July 26, 2016

Pokémon Go is a cultural phenomenon. Released early July 2016, Pokémon Go is an augmented reality game that has truly augmented the world beyond the scope of a mobile screen.

What is Pokémon Go?

In Pokémon Go, players become Pokémon Trainers who endeavor to catch wild Pokémon that appear in different real-world locations, hatch them from eggs by accumulating distance by walking around, and battle for gym leadership. The mobile application is essentially a Pokémon overlay on a real-world map wherein real locations may be shown as Pokémon Gyms. Pokémon Trainers vie for leadership of gyms by battling their collected Pokémon.

How is Pokémon Go valuable to libraries?

Since its release, Pokémon Go has changed public spaces and fostered a sense of collaboration as people from all walks of life share in and enjoy this transmedia storytelling experience. Players engage at an intersection of both the physical and virtual worlds, a place where librarians can meet them to foster multimodal literacy.

Tell me more about International Games Day's Library Pokémon Battle Map!

When players reach level 5, they are then able to participate in gym battles and select a team. In Pokémon Go, there are three teams: Team Mystic, Team Valor, and Team Instinct.

Gym Leader: Team Mystic Gym Leader: Team Valor Gym Leader: Team Instinct

Teams Mystic, Valor, and Instinct are represented by blue, red, and yellow, respectively.

As part of the fun activities of this year's IGD, we are hosting a Library Pokémon Battle Map which shows team leadership at gyms at libraries all over the world. Librarians can report which Pokémon Team is in control of their library's Pokémon Gym using the Pokémon battle form. Once you have entered your library's information, you will have the option to edit the form to update the information as it changes each day or as often as you would like.

Hosting a Hearthstone Tournament

Posted on July 18, 2016


Hearthstone is a free-to-play digital collectible card game based on the popular game “World of Warcraft”. The game itself is fairly simple to play but has a lot of strategic depth which has made it quite popular as a competitive game. Running a tournament for Hearthstone may at first seem like a daunting challenge but is actually rather accessible for even the least experienced of tournament organizers and can be done for little to no cost at all.

Hearthstone - Pull up a chair

The Hearthstone Innkeeper

Preparing the Space

When planning any tournament you will first want to dedicate a space for holding the event. Ideally, a library should be able to provide computers for the players to use, but it is not strictly required. If the library is planning on allowing players to use library-owned computers, be sure to download the Hearthstone game client well in advance of the tournament. The game can be downloaded for free here. Hearthstone can be played cross-platform on either PC, iOS, or Android devices. Keep in mind that all players should be using their own private accounts in order to play their matches. As long as every entrant has access to at least one of these devices, play should run smoothly. Of particular importance, make sure the provided space offers Wi-Fi internet access and plenty of power outlets so that players may charge their personal devices.


Promoting the Event

A great way to start promoting your Hearthstone tournament or get together is through the official Hearthstone Fireside Gathering website. The company responsible for Hearthstone has set up a great online calendar that allows organizers to promote and even support their events with free in-game digital goodies. Many local schools and universities also have student-run eSports organizations that you can reach out to for both support and potential participants. Finally posting flyers, creating Facebook event pages, and sending out email blasts are also great ways to spread the word about your upcoming event!

Establish the Rules

The next step in planning is to establish a basic rule set. Having a well-written rule set posted in advance will eliminate a lot of headaches on tournament day. First and foremost you will want to decide which style of bracket you would like to run. A single elimination bracket will allow for a maximum number of entrants to participate as it takes the least amount of time to complete. The one major drawback to a single elimination bracket, however, is that nearly half of all entrants will only be allowed a chance to play in one game before being eliminated. A double elimination bracket is a far superior choice to a single elimination bracket in that it guarantees that all participants are allowed to play at least two complete matches before being eliminated. However, the increase in the number of games played can significantly increase the time needed to complete the event. Most rounds of the tournament will take about 45 minutes to complete so be sure to allow the players ample time to complete the entire event whether you choose a single or double elimination bracket. No matter what style you choose, is a valuable free resource for both generating a bracket and keeping track of tournament results. You can use this link to help you begin generating your free tournament bracket.


Setting Guidelines

When laying out a basic rule set you will also need guidelines for how individual matches themselves should be played. The most common format for match play is the official Hearthstone “conquest” format played in either a best of five or best of three setting. In a best of five format, each player brings five decks and must win three out of five games to be awarded a match victory. For a more abbreviated and faster play format, players can be required to bring three different decks and win two out of the three games to be declared the victor. In either case, once a player has won a game with a particular deck they are no longer allowed to use that deck in that match. A losing player may continue using the same deck or attempt to switch to a different deck of his/her choice. In order to ensure that players are not changing their decks between games, or rounds, each player should be required to submit an official deck registration sheet prior to the start of the tournament. It is highly advisable to allow players the chance to complete their deck sheet prior to coming to the event. If a player is caught playing any modified deck at any point during the tournament they should be subject to either a game or match forfeiture, up to the tournament organizer’s discretion. Hearthstone

For a more in-depth and comprehensive guide, check out the official Hearthstone Innkeepers Guide for a complete breakdown of all things related to hosting your own event!



The American Go Foundation and Libraries

Posted on July 5, 2016


This year International Games Day is focusing on ways that libraries can play with little to no materials budget. The American Go Foundation offers libraries several ways to introduce the game Go to their library. Go is an ancient two-person strategic board game invented in China millennia ago and is still wildly popular today. This foundation’s Library Programs page offers two ways to get the game Go into your library.

For a donation of $25 for shipping, libraries can introduce patrons to Hikaru No Go. This manga is a coming of age saga about Hikaru Shindo, a sixth-grader in Japan who finds a Go board with an ancient Go master trapped inside. The Hikaru manga set also includes two cardboard playing boards as well as two copies of an instructional game booklet, The Way to Go.

Libraries ready to start a Go program can fill out an application to receive a free Go set that includes 3 reversible vinyl boards, 3 small sets of plastic stones in stackable bowls, 10 copies of The Way to Go booklets, and 4 cardboard 9x9 sets with cardboard stones.

What?! You don’t know anything about Go? The American Go Foundation has you covered there as well. This amazing group offers a free book for organizers, Go As Communication by Yasuda Yasutoshi. This book will guide you in learning about Go, its benefits for all users, and your Go program.

Go visit the American Go Foundation site and see how you can bring this game into your library!


Live Clue Game

Posted on April 14, 2015

Our guest post this week is from librarian Jonathan Dolce, the Head of the Children’s Library at Athens-Clare County Library. His professional library career began in 2000 at the Volusia County Library system, where he worked as a young adult librarian and earned their Employee of Year commendation. He later spent four years as Head of Youth Services for Maitland Public Library. He keeps active in the professional librarian community by presenting break-out sessions and by taking part in poster sessions at FLA and the 2015 GCBA convention.

I based my teen program on the popular board game Clue, but I made it Live Clue.

The game setup was cheap but took time and required a large room. To set the stage, our auditorium has a linoleum tile floor, each tile being a square foot. Using colored masking tape, I mapped out the floor of the auditorium to be identical to the Clue game board's rooms inside the mansion and outlined the squares for the game pieces to move. Then I added life-sized furniture to each of the mansion's rooms. I also recreated the game cards, increasing the size of the game cards to 8 x 11, and issued clipboards to the players to hold their clues.  Clue board

My trip to the Goodwill store yielded inexpensive costumes and accessories for each of the six players in colors that matched their character names: Miss Scarlet, Colonel Mustard, Mrs. White, Reverend Green, Mrs. Peacock and Professor Plum.  Our local police station donated evidence tags and fingerprinting accessories that added to the experience. The players used life-sized weapons for the game's markers - quite literally I gathered a big plumber's wrench, a cap gun (with caps!), a thick rope, a dagger (a plastic sword that I cut down to dagger-size), a lead pipe and a massive brass candlestick holder. The photo below shows all of my game props.

Live Clue Materials

The game play was identical to the original game except that live players replaced the markers. I played a butler who was their game host and I ensured proper game play. In the photo above, I'm holding a candlestick with a large foam die; after a roll, the players would move one tile at a time, just like in regular game play. Also in the photo is Kristen Arnett, my assistant, who was Ms. Scarlett, and Dylan, Brianna and Emily, who are also in costume and holding their game cards.

Half the teens had to wait their turn to play the game. While waiting, they played some board games, watched the Live Clue game and enjoyed eating pizza and drinking soda.

Playing Live Clue at Athens Clare County Library

The game winners all received a Clue game and all other attendees/participants simply won the right to eat and drink all of the refreshments.

Sounds like fun? It was!

Submitted by Jonathan Dolce, Athens-Clarke County Library

IGD Inspirations: Murray State University Library

Posted on September 4, 2014

IGD@yl volunteer Rebecca Richardson gives us some inspiring anecdotes about an annual games event at her library, Murray State University. Any one of these activities could be a great addition to your own event, and many are easy enough to organise that you could add more than one. Read on and be amazed at what one academic library team can do - and, hopefully, inspired to make your own IGD@yl playful in even more ways!

Murray, Kentucky is a fairly quiet town, at least during the summer. However, from mid-August through mid-May, nearly 11,000 college students swarm the community and the town seems to come alive.

Murray State University is well known for Racer Basketball, a spectacular music program, and an innovative library team. With a door count of more than 580,000 people last year, Waterfield Library is a major hub on campus. Students come for many reasons, to use the computers, check out materials, study, take classes, etc. But on the Sunday before classes begin for the Fall Term, students come just to play at Waterfield Wired!

Waterfield Wired is an event that has been happening in the library at Murray State University for the last six years. It is a chance for students to see the library and the library faculty and staff in a completely different lights, that of gamers. This year more than 500 students visited during the 2 hours of game play finding Glow Golf happening in the Reference Room, Laser Tag in the Circulating Stacks, and other games set up in nooks and crannies throughout Waterfield Library.

Around the building there was a Lip Sync Battle,

a hilarious competition with Just Dance,

a righteous round's Glow Golf,

Minute to Win It,

and giant versions of Twister,


and KerPlunk.

With all the pressures of college life, students and faculty both need a way to relieve the stress that grades, assignments and peers can put on them - so gameplay in this university library does not end at 10 p.m. the night of Waterfield Wired.

And throughout the year you will find students playing games on the computers, faculty incorporating games into their lesson plans and Giant Jenga being played by students in the lobby of the library.

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