Smashing across the US-Online Gaming

This is a screen capture of the leaderboard for the mini exhibition held this past Saturday afternoon for SuperSmash Brothers Brawl. Ann Arbor District Library, Detroit Public Library, and ImaginOn, the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County played against each other with four teens per library. Columbus Metropolitan was going to play as well but the wifi connection was cutting out.

The LAN Adapter for the Wii worked well and we didn’t encounter any connection problems, nor problems with the library’s splash page that contains our Internet policies and comes up when using the library’s wifi. (More info. on these potential problems is available in previous posts by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.)

The game was broadcast live on cable in Ann Arbor. I think playing other libraries online can put the game in a larger context for teens and therefore is more challenging to win. It took my colleague and I at least five times to tell our teens that they were playing against other libraries in the US-not because they weren’t listening but because the concept just didn’t seem to sink in. Once they got it they were totally jazzed and definitely took on some library pride related to how they were going to win. After the weekend, they asked me, “Can’t we play them now? It gets boring when we play the same people all the time!” We improved our geography (once the teens understood where in the US the other libaries were located) as well as our sportsmanship skills (yes, it’s okay to ask that question online-ummm no, that comment is not okay). Teamwork skills also increased as they played each match individually but wanted their library to win of course.

If your library would like to participate in online game play, contact Eli (eli@aadl.org) with Ann Arbor Public Library. He can help set up your library with software that will allow for cross-library play to happen easily. The possibilities for national and international play are endless!

About Kelly Czarnecki

Kelly Czarnecki is a Teen Librarian at ImaginOn with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library. She is a member of the YALSA blog advisory board.
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