Open Gaming Night 6/25 and ALA Day 1

Open gaming night on Friday night was a BLAST!  It was great to see old friends and meet new ones.  It was especially great to see Pauline and the ever wonderful Scott Nicholson!  One of the highlights for the attendees was the Wits and Wagers Game show, moderated by the game’s creator and Scott Nicholson.  Congrats to the winners!

So on to the second day – I had intended to do quite a bit of sessions and not do quite as much stuff in the Exhibits Hall, but the best laid plans…

I started my day with the Games and Gaming Panel, where Scott and Chris presented on the types of things that libraries can do to get into gaming and the resources available to libraries.  Also present was the head of Northstar Games (Wits & Wagers), who had a small presentation as well.   The panel then took some questions from librarians.  Some of the best information was to find your local game store and see if they are willing to help or they know anyone who might be willing to volunteer.

I had intended to go to a 1 o’clock session, but ended up going to meet some mystery authors and others at the booths.  When I looked up and decided to get lunch it was already 1:30.  This lead to some more time spent on the floor and ultimately to a gathering of librarians and information professionals watching the US – Ghana game!  I have to say that the number of people who were gathered around televisions through out the Convention Center was awe inspiring!  Not to mention, you could tell what was going on by the noises that were coming from the hallways.

I did make it to the final session I wanted to go to on what you need to do before you digitize.  This was a good presentation on the technical aspects of digitization and how to set yourself up well.  I have to say though – I was definitely getting text updates on the game from my sister – Thanks Cynthia!  You could still hear the noise every time the doors opened.

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2 responses to “Open Gaming Night 6/25 and ALA Day 1

  1. Craig L. Martin

    This is interesting because at least two libraries in CT have provided space to two local game clubs. However, I also know of libraries in CT that have not been willing to provide space, either due to fear of liability in off hours, or community events that already fill schedules (at least this is the official line )

    From a historical board gamer here, I think this is a fantastic idea. You said that maybe a local game store could provide the games- Like stamp & coin stores, they have gone the way of the Dodo. Too bad, because stamp clubs and libraries once had a traditional relationship, just as any non money making club might have had.

    Organized board gaming clubs are a relatively new phenomenon, dating from the early 70s. I know, because I was in one of the first. Meetings were held at Cal St., Fullerton. The members supplied their own games- anything from Chess to naval miniatures played on the floor. (The floor represented the ocean. I personally think the stacks and reference area of a public library would be swell place to play that kind of thing.) Games started on Friday evening and lasted all night, going into Saturday.

    Just some personal experiences here.

    Craig L. Martin
    Desert Hot Springs, CA

  2. Thank you for your comments – if you know the names of those libraries in CT that are offering space for gaming programs I’d love it if you would forward them! I think it’s great that you helped organize a board gaming club too – there aren’t enough of them.

    I should probably clarify something that I said – your local game store, may or may not provide games, but they probably know what games will be appropriate and they will know people who might want to help you start a gaming program.

    I know of several game stores around the East, in DE, MD, and NY that offer gaming clubs. In fact you can also find them on the Internet or you can find your local gaming club – they might be able to help to.

    In addition, I have participated in two programs at two different libraries where they have held Gaming Events within the library: one at Coulter Library at Onondaga Community College in NY and the other at Fayetteville (NY) Free Library that has been going successfully for two years now!

    I also know that Eli Neiberger and the Ann Arbor District Libraries have successfully run gaming programs for many years and Old Bridge Public Library in NJ has a program that brings together teens and seniors through their program.

    While I agree with you, as a board gamer, that it is a fading culture – this is a great opportunity for us to bring it back into the stores and make it a greater presence on the Internet. Many gaming programs are also using things like Guitar Hero and Rock Band to bring patrons in as well. As long as it fits the mission of the library – I’m all for it!

    While I agree

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