Next week marks the annual ALA International Game Day which takes place at libraries around the world. This is a perfect time to introduce attendees (both young and old) to our wonderful hobby. Table top gaming is seeing an increase in exposure from a variety of media markets and, especially in these economic times globally, more and more people are discovering a fantastic way to stretch their entertainment dollars while enjoying the company of family and friends. By all means check with your local library branch to see if they’re taking part in the November 3rd event!
From the American Libraries Association:
On Saturday, Nov. 3, more than 20,000 people in communities across the U.S.and around the world will celebrate the American Library Association’s fifth annual International Games Day @ your library. The event aims to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational and social value of all types of games.
Why do libraries celebrate gaming? Library gaming programs encourage interaction between patrons of all ages and cultures. As games have evolved over the years to become more dynamic – requiring more interaction and socialization amongst players – so have libraries, by re-energizing themselves as community learning centers. Libraries still provide traditional services, but continue to change by offering new formats like video games and programs like family gaming nights.
“Games, like libraries, are ever changing and intergenerational,” said ALA President Maureen Sullivan. “No matter what age, game or experience level, gaming in libraries provides a space for diverse groups of people to come together in a way they can’t anywhere else in the community – in the spirit of play.”
Through the generous donations from International Games Day sponsors, this year registered libraries will receive free copies of Bookworm and Bookworm Adventures (2,000 copies via PopCap); Labyrinth (1,000 copies plus gaming coupons via Ravensburger); and access to all of GameTable Online’s games the day of the event.
During International Games Day, participating libraries from all 50 states and countries abroad including Australia, Japan, the Philippines and the United Kingdom, will hold a variety of gaming activities that include modern board games, video games, card games and role-playing games, as well as two international video game tournaments featuring the games Super Smash Bros. Brawl and Mario Kart time trials.
For example, at New York’s Mid-Manhattan Library, classic board games like Scrabble, Battleship, Checkers and Taboo will be available along-side newer games such Guitar Hero, Rock Band and others available on gaming consoles. More and more libraries are also featuring modern board games that are more social and involve more strategy than luck, such as Apples to Apples, Blokus, Carcassonne and other more interactive titles.
International Games Day @ your library is an annual initiative of the American Library Association to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational and social value of all types of games. In 2011, nearly 28,000 people of all ages participated in gaming events at more than 1,400 registered libraries in the U.S., and 21 international libraries in 14 countries. The ALA anticipates that more than 20,000 people will participate in International Games Day 2012.
To find gaming events taking place in your community or for more information on International Games Day @ your library please visit http://ilovelibraries.org/gaming/or contact Jennifer Petersen, ALA PR Coordinator, at 312-280-5043 or [email protected].