Double the fun during ALA’s 2010 National Gaming Day

By on

The theme for this year’s National Gaming Day turned out to be “double” – double the fun, double the success!

On November 14, 2009, more than 1,365 libraries participated in ALA’s second annual National Gaming Day event, designed to promote the recreational and educational benefits of gaming in libraries. That’s more than double the number of libraries that participated last year (617)!

More than 31,290 people across the U.S. played games of all types in libraries that day. That’s also double the number of participants from last year (14,184)! They made new friends, learned about new games, played together as families, and competed for bragging rights in the national videogame tournament.

Hasbro, the exclusive sponsor of NGD2009, donated a copy of three of its most popular card games to every public library in the country. Library users were able to test their skills playing Monopoly Deal, Pictureka! the Card Game, and Scrabble Slam, with the kids and teens usually beating the adults. One of the major highlights that came out of the day was the interactions between diverse groups of kids, age groups, and library staff. National Gaming Day again provided a unique event for communities to come together in the safe, non-commercialized space that libraries offer.  What better way to game than surrounded by others from your local community and the knowledge of the world?

But not everyone was in it just for the fun. The national videogame tournaments (Rock Band and Super Smash Bros. Brawl) were pretty competitive. “Chris is not our leader” from the Ann Arbor (MI) District Library won the Rock Band tournament, while connection problems ended the Super Smash Bros. Brawl tournament at the quarterfinals stage. Winning library teams up to that point included Giles County Public Library (Pulaski, TN), Turtle Lake Public Library (Turtle Lake, WI), Detroit Public Library (Detroit, MI), Bondurant Community Library (Bondurant, IA), Madrid Public Library (Madrid, IA), Sanger Public Library(Sanger, TX), Garland County Library (Hot Springs, AR), Ann Arbor District Library (Ann Arbor, MI) and Bondurant Community Library (Bondurant, IA). The teams are already planning for next year’s competition!

National Gaming Day 2010 will take place on November 13, so save that date on your calendars now, and help us make the theme of next year’s event “triple!”

A sample of some of the great comments we received about NGD2009:

  • "It is usually very difficult to get boys into the library, but National Gaming Day changed that. On November 14th, there were boys waiting outside for the library to open! The boys all came for the Wii bowling tournament.”
  • "I have had teens waiting all year for this--we had that much fun last year!  Some of the things I overheard this year: 'I didn't know the library was this cool!', 'Can we do this every month?', 'Do we have to leave?', 'I love my life!' "
  • "We had an 80 year old senior who comes to play Wii bowling with other seniors on Friday mornings.  Some teens challenged her to a game of Wii bowling on National Gaming Day @ Your Library and she WON!  The kids were amazed and thought it was great."
  • "We loved it!  We're a small town, so… it was great seeing teens and younger kids playing with adults.  I'm excited about a senior who came in and offered to teach bridge to teens."
  • "While Gaming Day was going on I didn't notice it, but when we looked at photos afterwards, we saw a table of people playing Bananagrams which included a senior citizen, a college student, several high school students, and an elementary school student. Where else would you find such a mix of ages interacting and having a fun time? In a family, of course, but none of these people were was just a cross section of the community. Another table of kids playing Clue included three high school students, one middle schooler and three elementary school students...boys and girls, black and white and Mexican. We were all just having fun playing games, but it was rather heart-warming to see the diversity in the photos afterwards, especially in our very small rural town."