International Games Week October 29 – November 4

International Games Week

Double the Fun – Final NGD2009 Numbers

Posted on November 24, 2009

A big thank you to all of the libraries that responded to our feedback survey about your National Gaming Day activities for 2009. The big news is that we more than doubled participation all the way around!

(National Gaming Day 2009 at Skokie (IL) Public Library)

Some specific numbers:

  • Number of libraries registered to participate: 1,365
  • Number of libraries that submitted # of players for NGD activities: 549
  • Total number of players for NGD activities: 31,296
  • Number of libraries in the national Super Smash Bros Brawl tournament (simultaneous): 42
  • Number of libraries in the national Rock Band High Score tournament (asynchronous): 14
  • Number of non-US libraries that participated (that we know of): 2 (Canada, Japan), with interest expressed from Morocco for next year)

For comparison, here's how these numbers stack up against last year's totals.

  • Number of libraries registered to participate: 617
  • Number of libraries that submitted # of players for NGD2008 activities: 557
  • Total # of players for NGD2008 activities: 14,184

So overall, more than double the number of libraries registered to participate, and more than double the number of participants played at those libraries. Wow - you blew us away with your efforts and enthusiasm - thank you!

We were again impressed with the anecdotes librarians gave us in the feedback survey, too. Here's just a small sampling of the impact National Gaming Day had in communities across the country.

  • "...I really witnessed a sense of community as potentially shy teens reached across the table and helped one another by whispering tips to each player during their SSB brawl matches. Additionally, without any prodding, those waiting to play or those who had "lost" their match, began forming groups to try out and play the board games sent to us from [...] Hasbro. It was wonderful to see middle school aged contestants and high schoolers come together to teach and play against/with one another."
  • "It is usually very difficult to get boys into the library, but National Gaming Day changed that. On November 14th, there were boys waiting outside for the library to open! The boys all came for the Wii bowling tournament. Although our group was small, we had more boys in the library at one time (for a non-summer reading program) than I have seen in my eleven years working here."
  • "My assistant (who also works in our school's Developmental Study Center) noticed that many of those students participated and were very successful at the games they played. While not always highly motivated or successful at more academic endeavors, they were able to compete with other students at the games they played and enjoyed the competition and especially the winning!"
  • "This a a great opportunity for the teen members of the Game Club at our high school to take a leadership role in planning and carrying out an event for teens, their families and the community."
  • "Two middle-schoolers, brothers, have very quietly attended our past two JTPL GAME DAY@ Your Library events. They had mostly played the Wii or watched others play. On Saturday we started with a big group game of Wits & Wagers, and then when that finished I offered Say Anything, "another game by those same guys." The two brothers came right over and played Say Anything with two 40-50-something librarians and three other kids for over an hour! They left briefly for a turn on the Wii--but came right back to jump into the next game, Taboo. Like several of our GAME DAY attendees, I don't think these boys had any intention of playing anything besides the Wii. They absolutely do not fit the profile of a typical library kid. But with gaming programs like we've started at our library, and national events like NGD promoted by the ALA and its terrific sponsors, we're certainly expanding the definition of a library kid!"
  • "Both high schoolers and middle schoolers played amicably where there had been friction in weeks past, amongst themselves and with library staff. Teens were polite, taking turns w/o argument and using "please" when asking for a hot dog. (We've served hot dogs as part of the refreshment choices the last two bimonthly game days. Attendance has increased substantially.) No squabbles over the games and no taunting."
  • "I'm a teen librarian with a dedicated teen room. Gaming is a great way for teens to get to know people outside their peer group. We have a teen who stutters a lot and doesn't interact much with the other kids who use the library. On Saturday he was playing with kids who normally ignore him (or worse) and I was right there gently moderating the interactions so everyone had a good time. Was it life changing? I don't think so. But I do think it helped build empathy and just gave them a positive shared experience they wouldn't have had otherwise."
  • "While Gaming Day was going on I didn't notice it, but when we looked at photos afterwards, we saw a table of people playing Bananagrams which included a senior citizen, a college student, several high school students, and an elementary school student. Where else would you find such a mix of ages interacting and having a fun time? In a family, of course, but none of these people were was just a cross section of the community. Another table of kids playing Clue included three high school students, one middle schooler and three elementary school students...boys and girls, black and white and Mexican. We were all just having fun playing games, but it was rather heart-warming to see the diversity in the photos afterwards, especially in our very small rural town."
  • "One of our young patrons is blind. She brought her own deck of UNO cards with Braille. The kids enjoyed playing UNO and learning how she used Braille to play."
  • "We had an 80 year old senior who comes to play Wii bowling with other seniors on Friday mornings. Some teens challenged her to a game of Wii bowling on National Gaming Day @ Your Library and she WON! The kids were amazed and thought it was great."
  • "One of the parents went to the adult section to get on the internet while her son was in the program, and came back shocked at the number of people in the library and using the computers. She said she didn't think anyone used the library anymore, and noted that they had not come to the library in years before this program. She was impressed with how many services the library offers and what a vital part of the community it still is."
  • "I have had teens waiting all year for this--we had that much fun last year! I also did a 'Game Day' of this size on the Saturday of Teen Tech Week last year and plan on doing it again this coming year. Some of the things I overheard this year: 'I didn't know the library was this cool!', 'Can we do this every month?', 'Do we have to leave?', 'I love my life!' "
  • "We loved it! We're a small town, so our turnout was decent for such a program. It was great seeing teens and younger kids playing with adults. I'm excited about a senior who came in and offered to teach bridge to teens--I see this as a great intergenerational relationship-builder."

NGD2009 Video Game Tournaments – Results!

Posted on November 18, 2009

National Gaming Day keeps getting bigger and better on gtsystem!

The Rock Band High Score contest included 14 events on or around National Gaming Day and 70 performances were scored. This year, most libraries included the song that each band played, allowing for per-song leaderboards! The top ten included bands from Skokie Public Library (IL), Hunterdon County Library (NJ), Pittsfield Public Library (MA), Aurora Public Library (CO), and gtsystem's home team in Ann Arbor, MI.

The online Super Smash Brothers Brawl tournament featured 42 libraries from across the US attempting to connect and play each other online. While gtsystem held up like a champ this year, many libraries were knocked out by firewall problems or had to quit as their libraries closed. However, Giles County Public Library (Pulaski, TN), Turtle Lake Public Library (Turtle Lake, WI), Detroit Public Library (Detroit, MI), Bondurant Community Library (Bondurant, IA), Madrid Public Library (Madrid, IA), Sanger Public Library(Sanger, TX), Garland County Library (Hot Springs, AR), Ann Arbor District Library (Ann Arbor, MI) and Bondurant Community Library (Bondurant, IA) all advanced to the quarterfinals before the momentum was stymied by connection trouble and short time. However, players across the country still had fun being a part of something big.

Next year, the Brawl bracket will be back for another iteration with a simpler structure, more connection testing, and a different approach to making it happen in 4 time zones at once. You can see some of the event recorded on gtsystem's ustream page at, although be forewarned there is quite a bit of downtime in the video as we were trying to get matches together. Regardless, this idea is still an exciting one to players and staff alike, and the challenges of coordination and connectivity just make it that much more important to do it more often!

See you all in the bracket on November 13, 2010!

That’s a Lot of Dots!

Posted on November 17, 2009

You all rocked National Gaming Day - all 1,365 of you. That's how many libraries registered to participate in this year's National Gaming Day event, more than double last year's number.

Final map of the 2009 National Gaming Day participating libraries
NGD2009 map

Now we need to count the number of patrons who played at those 1,365 libraries, so if you haven't already filled out the NGD2009 survey, please do it now.  Every field you fill out in the survey helps quantify what happened, both  compared to last year and to set benchmarks for next year. The information also helps us talk to donors, partners, and reporters, so please give us as much data as you can.

Submit Your NGD2009 Info!

Posted on November 15, 2009

We hope everyone had a great National Gaming Day - let's start finding out how great. If your library participated, please go to and fill out the survey to tell us what you did, how many people played, and whether your players enjoyed the day.

Every field you fill out in the survey helps quantify what happened, both  compared to last year and to set benchmarks for next year. The information also helps us talk to donors, partners, and reporters, so please give us as much data as you can. We especially love your wonderful anecdotes that show the impact of National Gaming Day.

The survey will be open through Wednesday (Nov. 18), and we hope to report the first official figures on Thursday (Nov. 19).


NGD in Canada

Posted on November 12, 2009

We'd like to officially welcome Les Bibliothèques de Montréal-Nord in Québec as participants in this year's National Gaming Day @ your library. We're thrilled to see the event spread beyond the U.S., and it has us thinking what an international gaming day might look like. What do you think?

If you're in Canada, you can take advantage of some handiwork done by Jean-François Cusson of the Bibliothèques de Montréal-Nord. He's translated the logo into French, and he's generously making his PR materials available to anyone for inspiration. Thanks, Jean-François - we can't wait to hear how your Gaming Day goes!

Logo NGD (francais)

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