Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Open Gaming at ALA Conference 2008

Several years ago, Sacramento Public Library began enticing teens to the library with pizza and eGaming. Librarian-in-Black Sarah Houghton-Jans mentioned at LITA's annual "Top Tech Trends" panel that the San Jose Public Library sees 40+ eGamers at a time. That is a lot!

Games and eGaming in public libraries has caught on. ALA offered a Friday evening "Open Gaming" event at its annual conference and devoted an Exhibits section to Gaming. At the Friday party, I munched popcorn, watched teams of virtual bowlers (bowling with a white Nintendo wii wand that looks like a TV channel changer), and I jumped in to race three others. I'm not much of a Mario racer, but it was a fun evening.

eGames are growing way beyond young guys because programs like Dance, Dance, Revolution (DDR), WiiFit, Wii golf and bowling, and such have been discovered by fitness clubs like my local YMCA, retirement and convalescent homes, after school programs, and others.

ALA featured non-electronic games too, including a variety of board games from Out of the Box Publishing. At "Open Gaming" night, teams of librarians were at board games like "10 Days in the USA" or "10 Days in Europe" -- I'm sure there was lots of conversation about places and past trips.

See also: Gaming @ Your Library activities during National Library Week in April 2008.

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