Multiplayer Games for the Switch @ Games In Libraries

Even though it’s been available for less than a year, the Nintendo Switch already has a huge catalog of exciting multiplayer titles. If you’re looking to add a Switch to your library programming schedule, the ALA’s Games In Libraries blog has created a list of the best multiplayer experiences on the console:

Since its launch, Nintendo’s newest console, the Switch, has seen an explosion in titles available. Many lend themselves well to multiplayer – here is a list of some particular recent standouts, around which a library could provide a good social gaming experience.

The list includes nine titles, and I’m a big fan of both Snipperclips Plus and Enter the Gungeon for multiplayer gaming.

And if you’re interested in cooperative multiplayer gaming, you might want to check out a similar list that was recently published by Inverse Genius’s Games in Schools and Libraries blog.

Running a Game Convention at Your Library

Game conventions come in all shapes and sizes… from small local shows all the way up to the sprawling PAX expos held every year in Seattle, Boston, San Antonio, and Philadelphia. In a bid to move beyond “Game Nights,” many public libraries are now in the business of running their own game conventions.

Believe it or not, this task isn’t as hard as you might think. Especially because there’s no one way to organize a game convention at your library, and there’s actually many different approaches you can try…

  • Partner with a local game shop to host demonstrations of new games.
  • Recruit local game developers to show off their latest projects.
  • Ask for volunteers in your community willing to share their game knowledge.
  • Or some combination of all three!

But the best way to get ideas for your game convention might be to reach out to librarians who have done it in the past.

List of Library-Organized Game Conventions
Here’s a small selection of libraries who have organized their own game convention. If you’d like your convention added to the list, please let me know…

Location: Lockport Branch of White Oak Library in Lockport, Illinois
Links: Convention Website | Contact Page

Made In Rochester Game Festival
Location: Irondequoit Public Library in Rochester, New York
Links: Convention Website | Contact Page

Location: Bethpage Public Library in Bethpage, New York
Links: Convention Website | Contact Page

Location: Waccamaw Neck Branch of Georgetown County Library in Pawleys Island, South Carolina
Links: Convention Website | Contact Page

Cooperative Four-Player Video Games @ Inverse Genius

There’s nothing quite like cramming four people around a video game screen and expecting them all to cooperate. And wouldn’t you know, the people at Inverse Genius’s Games in Schools and Libraries blog agree:

Do your gamers want to work together instead of compete? Do they want a challenge that is going to take everyone give their all to overcome? Cooperative games have players working together as a team to overcome the computer or some set challenge. There are so many great cooperative games out there. Here’s a list of some of our favorites!

Their suggestions run through some of the best four-player cooperative games on the PC and consoles today, including Overcooked, Pac-Man 256, Lovers In A Dangerous Spacetime, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes (a VGL favorite), and more.

Hearthstone 101 @ Inverse Genius

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft continues to be a popular choice in the competitive gaming scene, and Stephanie Frey from Inverse Genius’s Games in Schools and Libraries blog has put together a new how-to guide for librarians interested in trying out the Collectible Card Game (CCG):

Are your gamers interested in Hearthstone? Do they already like games like Magic the Gathering and Yugioh? Do you want to try something new to attract a new group of the gamer curious to your library or school club? Here is everything you need to get started.

Hearthstone is a FREE Online Collectible Card Game. It is played over PC, Android, or Apple devices and an online connection is required. This is a game where gamers construct decks from cards they collect either from leveling up their characters by playing matches or from buying booster packs with points earned or cash. While it is free to play, each gamer can have their own account or the moderator can make guest accounts available, players can earn in-game currency to purchase additional booster packs and game modes or do the same by spending real money. We are getting a lot of play without spending a penny.

Looking for more Hearthstone information? Find all posts tagged with a Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft label now!

Retro Gaming Program Ideas @ Games In Libraries

“Retro Gaming” is big business in 2017, fueling everything from the indie development boom to Nintendo’s popular line of Classic Edition microconsoles. Many libraries have begun to tap into this fandom, and some are even offering game programming centered around retro games.

Thomas Vose has also noticed this trend, and he recently put together a how-to guide on retro gaming for the ALA’s Games In Libraries blog:

Looking to go old-school? Want to try something different in the world of video gaming as a program? There are a lot of great retro programs that can be put together to offer something different for your patrons and to reach new audiences by appealing to nostalgia, and recent developments in the world of gaming have made those retro programs more accessible.

Some of Vose’s programming ideas include high score competitions, Let’s Play broadcasts, retro tournaments, speedrunning challenges, and retro gaming crafts.

Pokemon! How Two Libraries Scored Major Points With A Game Craze @ Programming Librarian

pokemongoAre your patrons still crazy for Pokemon Go? If so, then you’ll want to check out “Pokemon! How Two Libraries Scored Major Points With A Game Craze,” a presentation for Programming Librarian recently hosted by Cari Rérat (the Director at Pryor Creek’s Thomas J. Harrison Pryor Public Library) and Darcie Smith (the Community Outreach Librarian at British Columbia’s Prince George Public Library).

During the presentation, they discuss how Pokemon Go has helped bring new patrons to their libraries:

Wondering how you can use your library’s status as a PokeStop or gym to your advantage? Two librarians share how they’re using the excitement around Pokemon Go to revitalize programming and introduce new patrons to the library.

Looking for more Pokemon Go information? Find all posts tagged with a Pokemon Go label now!

Even More Programming Ideas For Pokemon Go @ School Library Journal

pokemongoPokemon Go is still incredibly popular with gamers the world over, but the intense furor surrounding the game has cooled considerably since its launch in July. However, Karen Jensen of School Library Journal’s Teen Librarian Toolbox has pulled together another batch of programming ideas to go along with the app, and they might just get your library patrons “Pokemon-ing” again:

Because Pokemon Go is played by people of all ages, we specifically chose to make this an all ages event, which proved to be a very wise move. We had a lot of families come that were obviously enjoying playing the game together. Our event lasted for 5 hours and we placed a lure (a lure draws Pokemon to your location) every half hour. A lot of people came and stayed the entire time and it was fun to see them sitting around talking and then get up to go somewhere and catch a Pokemon. At one point someone declared that Pikachu was nearby and there was an excited mass exodus. As far as I know no one caught Pikachu that night, but they sure did have a fun time trying.

In addition to some very creative Pokemon-themed decorations, Jensen’s programming ideas include “Pin the Tail On Pikachu,” “Pikachu Ears,” and Pokeball Coloring.”

Looking for more Pokemon Go information? Find all posts tagged with a Pokemon Go label now!

Pokemon Go Battle Map for Libraries @ International Games Day Blog

pokemongoPokemon Go has become one of the most popular mobile apps of all time, so it’s not surprising that the American Library Association is making it a big part of this year’s International Games Day @ Your Library.

Over at the ALA’s International Games Day @ Your Library Blog, they’ve created a Pokemon Go Battle Map for Libraries, so librarians can report which of the game’s three teams (Mystic, Valor, or Instinct) currently control the Gym closest to their library:

As part of the fun activities of this year’s IGD, we are hosting a Library Pokemon Battle Map which shows team leadership at gyms at libraries all over the world. Librarians can report which Pokemon Team is in control of their library’s Pokemon Gym using the Pokemon battle form. Once you have entered your library’s information, you will have the option to edit the form to update the information as it changes each day or as often as you would like.

It’s a fun idea to add a little bit more competition to the game, especially on this year’s International Games Day @ Your Library, which will be held on Saturday, November 19.

Looking for more Pokemon Go information? Find all posts tagged with a Pokemon Go label now!