We had a very low turnout for our Teen Gaming Interest Group meeting on Saturday afternoon, making a swap and share of resources difficult at best. One of the things we did was unanimously elect Jami Schwarzwalder as the new chair fo the Teen Gaming Interest Group. Congrats, Jami!
We also discussed creating a list of great games (tabletop and videogames) for teen programming. The list has been started on the YALSA wiki; please feel free to contribute annotations.
On Sunday morning, I counted over 125 at our Sunday Morning program, Beyond Gaming Tournaments. Slides and handouts are forthcoming.
Craig Davis from Youth Digital Art CyberSchool shared ways to get kids creating, using professional design tools to make digital art, music and games. There were oohs and ahhs at the Madplayer he demonstrated, which allows for intuitive music compositions and sound editing through listening, so anyone can do it. They have been discontinued, and probably hard to get; try eBay, or register for YDACS classes. Due to some sound glitches, we couldn’t hear the demo of multiple tracks being played in Cakewalk, but could see the notes being played, as the software is highly visual, and were impressed by the drag and drop composition editing.
Craig showed 2 games created by students; check out more YDACS games at http://www.dev-lcg.com/cyberschool/mod/resource/view.php?id=462
- The Durham Library game, which features a red dot character ( a Dewey decimal? suggested an audience member) doing a walkthrough of the library. The backgrounds are all photos; game design elements make it interactive, and many of the library’s features are clickable to deliver information about books, magazines, spaces, etc.
- Revolution is a MMOG that YDACS will be selling for $5 a digital copy. The student who made it will get 50% of the profit. YDACS not only teaches 21st century literacy skills, it teaches entrepeneurial skills as well.
Elizabeth Saxton from the Cleveland Public Library transitioned us from high tech to low tech, sharing ideas for programs about and around gaming that are JUST like other more traditional library programs for teens, encouraging literacy and library use.
- Promote gaming reading material. A list of Books for Gamers is on the ALA Gaming Resource Wiki already, please feel free to contribute.
- Conduct a Gaming Discussion Group — just like book discussion! The program could be themed (adventure games, puzzle games, simulation games, online games, Worst Game Ever), center around a single popular game (Runescape! Spore! Grand Theft Auto!) or focus on games teens are playing now, or even anticipating as future releases (Guitar Hero 4! Spore!)
- Create a Gaming Advisory Board — just like TAB, but not necessarily with your TAB members. Gaming might attract a whole different set of teens. The GAB can create content for you: ‘zines, podcasts, reviews, lists of great games, and displays. Plus, you can harness their expertise to advise on programs and collection development, etc.
- Host a gaming career program! Gamasutra may be a good resource for finding local game design students. Augment with titles from your career books
Amy McNally from the Hennepin County Library brought two teens, Karina & Brigit, with her to talk about the anime/gaming connection. Having real live teens participate was awesome! They did a fabulous job explaining cosplay (it’s not just dressing up! It’s also about being in character) and the programs at their library. There are game spinoffs of anime shows (.hack sign), games stylized to have an anime look (Final Fantasy) and anime or comic versions of games that can be tapped (Pokemon). Some activity ideas:
- Offer a sewing club. Teens can swap expertise and share sewing know-how. The Hennepin Library provides a sewing machine and sewing notions for it’s Sewing Club.
- Have your Anime club meet at a local convention.
- Host an Anime Prom, where everyone comes in costume and in character. Activities at prom can include gaming events, costume contest, a dance off, anime showings, and random battles (no costume required! pair characters against one another – challenge is to “defeat” your opponent using a signature move. Attack and/or die in character!)
All three topics could have been a program unto themselves. Our panel presentation concluded with a raffle (congrats to all the winners of t-shirts and software from YDACS and schwag from Red Octane, creators of Guitar Hero). Red Octane will send stuff for your library events if you email a request for prizes.
Craig demoed the MadPlayer and let folks try YDACS games; Elizabeth led a worldbuilding exercise, a game designed hosted several sessions of LetterJam. Teens led a dance off to The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzimiya and random battles. Gaming magazines were available for browsing. A reader’s advisory activity was provided; results are online.
On a personal note, thanks to SOCIAL NETWORKING I was able to track down the owner of the missing blue diary, left at our program! It’s on it’s way home