CHICAGO — On Saturday, Nov. 15th, libraries across the country and around the world joined together to play and learn about games and gaming during the 7th annual International Games Day. This event was a collaboration between the American Library Association, the Australian Library and Information Association and Nordic Games Day to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational and social value of all types of games.
This year our sponsors, Game Table Online, Good Games, Konami, Looney Labs, One Play, Paizo, Ravensburger, Simply Fun, Starline Publishing, Steve Jackson Games and USAopoly generously donated more than 3,500 games to libraries that participated in the event. These gifts are invaluable to libraries beginning and expanding their game collections - we are deeply grateful to these donors for their support!
International Games Day offers libraries a chance to play with other libraries around the world with the Global Gossip Game and the International Minecraft Hunger Games. The Global Gossip Game started in Scoresby, Victoria, Australia as a quote from educational theorist Lev Vygotsky, “Games are… an intrinsic and natural feature of human nature.” It ran for 26 and a half hours through 76 libraries in 17 countries across 5 different continents, branching three times before finishing in in four different US libraries as “10 miles of 10”, “Allen”, “My skinny knees” and “It’s snowing”.
The International Minecraft Hunger Games, led by the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library, welcomed two Tributes from each of 100 libraries/Districts from around the world. These tributes battled in local, regional, national and finally an international tournament on a Minecraft Hunger Games server until one champion emerged. The last battle was won by CadyBrun from District 708 in Providence, Rhode Island. This event was a great success, with thousands of matches played on 50 Minecraft servers.
Participating in International Games Day is easy for libraries, because there is no prescribed format for the day except to enjoy learning through play. The donated games get libraries started, but some libraries take this idea further by creating games at game jams and leading tournaments, or inviting specialist speakers in game design, game criticism, systems thinking, strategic thinking, psychology and game theory, or any of a number of related topics. One participant noted, “Libraries are definitely the best spaces for playing games.”
The next International Games Day is scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015. For more information on the event and how libraries can participate, visit the International Games Day @ your library website.
The American Library Association is the oldest and largest library association in the world, with more than 55,000 members in academic, public, school, government and special libraries. The mission of the American Library Association is to provide leadership for the development, promotion and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.