International Games Week October 29 – November 4

International Games Week

Initial reportback – and request: Please fill out the surveys!

Posted on November 18, 2014

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!

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!


Library numbers

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.

Cheers everyone!

International Minecraft Hunger Games – THE VICTOR!

Posted on November 17, 2014

of the


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?



International Minecraft Hunger Games numbers

Posted on November 8, 2014

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!

November update – nearly there!

Posted on November 3, 2014

Hi everyone! Less than two weeks to go till the big day - and it will be a big one this year! Even before the usual last-week spike in registrations, we are already at over 1200 participating libraries, including (to my considerable pride) over 50 here in Australia! And the list of international locations is growing, too, with over 30 countries and territories already on our books: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Nigeria, the Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, UK, and USA.

That's a lot of us all over the planet coming together to enjoy each other's company as we celebrate games, play, learning, community, and libraries. And it's something pretty special we're all making possible for each other. I know our readers are busy and tend to read in a hurry, but it might be a nice idea to send each other messages and well-wishes in the comments... no pressure, but I'm sure you're all sick of hearing from me, and hearing from each other might be quite a nice change 🙂

To the practicalities!


All donors have been notified of your donation requests, and they should be on their way. We've had confirmation from Steve Jackson, Ravensburger, USAopoly, and Australian sponsor Good Games that they've shipped their games; however, lack of confirmation most likely just means they're too busy to get in touch - it's a pretty crazy time of year for games vendors! (If you've requested donations from other donors and received them, please let us know in the comments below.)

Even more generous than we expected

Due to a glitch in our registration survey, which was supposed to stop offering donations once the quota had been reached, but decided to just ignore those limits, most donors have had to deal with a slight overage. Thanks to all of them for their generosity in taking this in their stride!

Steve Jackson Games were an exception deserving special mention here... there was nothing "slight" about being faced with shipping over 400 games more than they originally planned to ship. But they unflinchingly agreed - for which I reckon they deserve a round of applause over and above the general gratitude.

So whoever sent you gifts for your IGD celebrations, be sure to write to them and express your appreciation for their support of libraries - it's even greater than we knew! Feel free to drop a note into the comments below too.

Global Gossip Game

I'm in the middle of generating the the Global Gossip Game instructions (literally, I'm taking a break from that job to post this), and hope to have it done in the next day or two. PAX Aus was on the weekend, and I was too exhausted at the end of each day to do much.

I have completed the schedule, however, and in most cases I have managed to get everyone the time they preferred.

In some respects the GGG will be bigger than ever this year too - although we're sadly not going to make it to Antarctica or Africa this year, we have a record-breaking 80 libraries in 16 jurisdictions joining us, including one of the world's greats - the British Library!

International Minecraft Hunger Games

The good folks at AADL have been sent a list of everyone who had registered as of the end of October, and will be sending out emails to everyone about their game shortly, if they haven't already; more updates on that as I get them! Their servers will be open for testing this week and competition will be able to begin as of next week.

As is the case each year, this inter-library videogame contest is entirely the work and brainchild of AADL - they organise it and offer it to us all entirely at their own initiative. Even if you're not planning to participate, that's an exceptionally generous and, well, library-like thing to do - so please do feel free thank them even if you're not playing in their game!


I think that's it! I'll be back in touch as there's news to share, and of course GGG libraries will be hearing from me soon, but meanwhile, thank you for making this remarkable event possible, and Happy International Games Day to all of you!

Updates: Minecraft Hunger Games and Global Gossip Game

Posted on October 28, 2014

Hi everyone! Here's the latest on the two international inter-library games.

Minecraft Hunger Games

Registrations are open until the end of this week, and AADL will be sending an email out to everyone who has registered when they close. So if you've been waiting to hear more, not long now!

Meanwhile, make sure you add to your list of safe sender domains (gtsystem is the specific username if you have to add whole email addresses), so they don't get caught in the spam filter - and make sure to check your filter if you don't get anything by early next week!

Global Gossip Game

Registrations for this year's GGG are closed.

This year, because of the huge growth in interest (612 libraries indicated interest in playing when they registered for IGD!) and the lack of comparable growth in the volunteer pool (in fact I have been shrinking slightly) I decided to try a more automated approach.

Everybody who indicated an interest in participating during IGD registration was sent an email early last week with a link to a Google Form for their timezone, asking for the information I need to run the game.

Unfortunately, it seems as though a LOT of libraries had this email get caught in their spam filter - although more than enough still replied that I didn't notice until too late. If you indicated a desire to play and never received either email, please do check your spam filter for the 19th, 20th and 21st of October - it's too late to add you at this point, but at least we'll know what happened.

The list of participating libraries is below. Most have given me all the contact details I need - there are a couple with bits and pieces outstanding. Once I have those details, I'll start generating the combined instructions and contact information that each library has customised to them. I'm hoping for the end of this week, but I have a lot on (PAX Australia is in town this weekend, and I'm presenting a panel), so it may be next week. If you want to see the basic instructions for the day before then (i.e. without your specific contact details), you can visit for the basics - there may be some minor tweaks, but in general this will be the deal.

Unfortunately, this year we had fewer African libraries participating, and none that could join us on the day. We also didn't make it to Antarctica - they are happy for us to try again next year, but this year none of the bases could make it work. And while we came oh-so-close to a particularly interesting travelling library, that too has ended up being a "maybe in 2015". So the upshot is that, even though this is the largest GGG ever, with 77 libraries participating, we only ("only") make it to 5 continents this year. I'm still confident it will be an interesting and enjoyable exercise - I just don't want you telling people the wrong thing on the day 🙂

Thanks again to everyone who expressed interest in participating - and whether or not we got you in for this year, have a fun IGD14!

GGG participating libraries

  • Albion District Library
  • American Corner Pristina - National Library of Kosovo
  • American Library, American Center, New Delhi 110001, India
  • Anoka County Library - Rum River
  • Biblioteca Pública, municipal y Popular "General José de San Martín", Miramar (Bs. As.) Argentina
  • Biblioteket i Ekerö centrum
  • BLIK Gribskov Library
  • Bournemouth Library
  • Boylston Public Library
  • Bridgeport Public Library - Newfield Branch
  • Campaspe Regional Library
  • Campbelltown Public Library
  • Career and Technical Education Center
  • Charlotte Mecklenburg Library- ImaginOn
  • City of Darwin Libraries - Karama Library
  • City of Melville Libraries
  • Clearwater Public Library
  • Clinton Public Library
  • Corona Public Library
  • Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, Cliffdale Regional Branch
  • Cumberland County Public Library & Information Center, North Regional Branch
  • Dayton Metro Library: West Carrollton Branch
  • Eastern Regional Libraries
  • Fitchburg Public Library
  • Flower Mound Public Library
  • Grafton Library
  • Hairston Crossing Library
  • Henderson County Public Library
  • Incline Village Library
  • John Muir Branch, Los Angeles Public Library
  • Johnson County Public Library - Franklin Branch
  • Knjižnica Jelkovec, The Zagreb City Libraries
  • Lancaster Veterans Memorial Library
  • Landa Branch Library
  • Lawrence Public Library
  • Logan Libraries, Logan Central
  • Lois Edwards Memorial Library
  • Longview Public Library
  • Mandurah Library
  • Mark Twain Neighborhood Library
  • Marsden Library
  • Marshall-Lyon County
  • Melbourne Library Service
  • Moscow American Center
  • Nancy Carson Library
  • Northeast Branch, The Seattle Public Library
  • Nottingham City Libraries: Central Library
  • Nunatta Atuagaateqarfia
  • Olds Municipal Library
  • Onondaga County Public Library_Mundy Branch
  • Orange County Public Library
  • Park Forest Branch of the Dallas Public Library
  • Peter G. Holt Memorial Library
  • Placer County Library, Auburn
  • RAF Croughton Base Library
  • Rantou Public Library
  • Sacramento Public Library Valley Hi North Laguna Branch
  • Salisbury Library Service
  • Scenic Regional Library – Union
  • Scenic Regional Library – Owensville Branch
  • South Butler Community Library
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Albert Public Library
  • Stair Public Library
  • Staunton Public Library
  • Tavlay Library
  • The Emmet O'Neal Library
  • The University Library “Svetozar Markovic”
  • University of Delaware Library
  • University of San Jose – Recoletos Main Library
  • Veedersburg Public Library
  • Verdal bibliotek
  • Winlock Timberland Library
  • Woodburn Public Library
  • Yarra Plenty Regional Library


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