Hello everyone! We're back for another International Games Day @ your library. Welcome!
(If it helps get you revved up for the event, read that in an Aussie accent: one of the people posting this blog entry is doing so from Australia. Yep, International by name, International by nature. You little beauty.)
As we posted on January 23rd, this year we are celebrating on Saturday, November 16th. Our registration form is coming out very soon - we just have to finalise the sponsorship goodies we have to offer. Our promotional resources are available under the Press Kit link at the top of the page. If you haven't already, get the date in your calendars now - and get ready to register!
And, as always, if you want to join in but can't make it on that date, you can do so whenever you like. Be sure to register anyway, so we have your details and can include your participation in our stats.
Stay tuned to this blog as well! We'll be aiming to post regularly with various interesting tidbits. Thanks again for your interest!
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 â€“ 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 Iâ€™m organising Australiaâ€™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 isnâ€™t the first international event to tie in with NGD@yl. But I do think itâ€™s typical library self-effacement (and a bad thing) that itâ€™s still being billed at only a national level despite that.
The big lesson â€“ or rather affirmation â€“ of my trip was how natural a fit games and libraries are for each other. Libraries are about community â€“ 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 itâ€™s grown â€“ even beyond the borders of its founding country. Games without frontiers indeed â€“ and no disrespect to Peter Gabriel, but in this form thatâ€™s a really good thing.
So itâ€™s time to acknowledge â€“ proudly â€“ 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 â€“ but why wait? If youâ€™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 â€“ Iâ€™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 youâ€™re interested in learning more about his trip, or his findings, you can contact him at pminchin [at] portphillip.vic.gov.au .
We're happy to announce that the NGD11 poster is now available in a few different options. You can print out an 8.5" x 11" flyer size or an 11" x 17" poster. There are two versions of each, one with the tagline "Game on @ your library" and a second with blank space where you can add information about your library. We've also posted high-resolution versions of the logo, suitable for printing.
Find all of these files on the Library Press Kit page. We hope you find them useful.
In other news, the map of participating libraries has been updated and now includes more than 1,200 locations. We'll do one more update of it in November, but libraries can keep registering in order to be eligible to win the DEMCO Gaming Gear Package.
All of the donations from official sponsor FamilyAndPartyGames.com have been claimed, and they're working on filling the list now. The games will ship in the next couple of weeks, so watch for them to start arriving in early November. We'll post another update when the shipments start to go out.
Eli Neiburger from the Ann Arbor District Library will be contacting all of the libraries that indicated on the registration form that they'll be participating in the video game tournaments (or even if you said "not sure yet"). Watch for an email from him soon, because you need to spend time testing before the big day in order for things to go smoothly.
Just over three weeks to go!
WHAT?Â Super 7 is a simple puzzle game for the iPad/iPhone/iPod. Â Using your finger, you draw lines between numbered hexagons and link them together to get to the number 7. Â The key here is building up large hexagons to get more points. Â Once the ball (or hexagon) gets rolling, the game gets faster and throws in negative numbers, special power ups, and more. Â These additions take the puzzle element to the next level.
WHY?Â Simple and easy to pick up, Super 7 is a great way to get into gaming on the iPad. Â It shows how simple gaming on the iPad just using your finger to contribute to the action should be. Â Itâ€™s not overly clunky and all that it takes is for the player to simply draw a line. Â Anyone could get into this game and younger children could perhaps learn something about numbers and math.
WHO?Â Well worth the 99 cents it costs to download the game, Super 7 is a great game that will provide a short spurt of fun to the player. Â It could also be a great game for younger kids learning about numbers and math. Â The action may get too intense (speed wise) for them once the numbers start flying, but a basic run through the game will help get them familiar with numbers and addition.
Originally posted here on 10/4/2010
So youâ€™re thinking about starting a gaming program at your library? Â It seems like an easy thing to do. Â You get a TV, a video game system, a few games and BOOM! Â There you have it.
Â But wait!
In order to make the gaming program at your library something special, youâ€™ll want to go that extra step. Â Hereâ€™s a few of the smaller details you wonâ€™t want to overlook.
1.Â Television:Â Make sure you get aÂ reallyÂ good TV. Â Patrons donâ€™t want to come to the library to play games on a small TV when they could do that at home. Â Go nuts. Â Order thatÂ 50 inch HD Plasma TVÂ youâ€™ve got your eyes on. Â Better yet, why not go for a projector? Â You wonâ€™t regret it and your patrons will love it. Â The flashier the video game program is, the better chance a library has to attract patrons. Â We have to give them a unique experience!
2.Â Staff:Â Make sureÂ you'veÂ got staff on board that are either gamers themselves or people that are interested to learn. Â Your patrons just donâ€™t want you to simply set up the games and let them be. Â They will be begging you to join their band in Rock Band or theyâ€™ll want to brawl with you on Super Smash Brothers Brawlâ€¦and youâ€™ll want to impress them with your skills. Â Positioning your staff as video gaming experts will be great for your community.
3.Â Materials:Â Here's a great basic start-up planÂ here. Â Itâ€™s a quick run through of where to begin game and accessory wise. Â A good place to start.
4.Â Schedule:Â To get them to keep coming back to your library, make sure your gaming program is not a one shot deal. Â Establish a consistent weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly plan (I suggest weekly to start!) where youâ€™ll be having regular gaming programs. Â Your users will get into a routine of coming into the library a specific day of the week to enjoy a few hours of collaborative gaming.
You can find this post in its original form here. Â Originally published 1/4/2010.