2018 IGW Final Report

It was another great year for International Games Week 2018. 1450 libraries from around the world participated by playing games during this year’s event.

We appreciate everyone who took the time to reply to our after-event survey. 243 libraries answered questions about their events and thanked our sponsors.

182 of our survey respondents gave attendance figures. The average per library was 56 attendees. The flat average for 1,450 registered libraries equals approximately 81,200 attendees.

2018 Donors and Donations
The International Games Week Committee would like to thank our donors for making this day great with their generous donations. This year our donors were Accentuate Games (UK), Asmodee (Italy), Asmodee (UK), Babalibri (Italy), Binca Games (UK), Breakout EDU, Creativamente, DV Giochi (Italy), Erickson (Italy),  Gamewright, Hungry for More Games, Twogether Studios, Looney Labs, Paizo, and Red Glove (Italy).

Here are some of the many thanks for the donated games:

  • Our staff was so excited to have this particular game that I had to do an official “unboxing” for people.
  • The teens really loved how short and fast-paced Get the MacGuffin is. They thought it was awesome they got to try out the newest game before we even added it to the collection.
  • This was a really fun game and great for quickly introducing new players to tabletop gaming.  We loved the fast pace.
  • Thank you for sending the game Illimat. It is one of the most beautifully designed games I have ever seen.
  • Thanks for the game! We had great fun exchanging Shakespearean insults.
  • Grazie per averci donato Level 9, un gioco dalle regole semplici che è stato molto apprezzato dai nostri utenti.
  • Grazie per il dono di “Le mille e una storia”: un vero capolavoro, abbiamo dovuto mettere un tempo altrimenti i ragazzi avrebbero parlato per ore!!

IGW in Your Library
What are some anecdotes from your IGW program?

  • It really provides a great reason and opportunity to reach out and chat with users.
  • One of our adult patrons “broke” our Joust arcade game because he was too good at it! It was a version of the original arcade game made for XBOX 360. He earned so many extra lives that the game could no longer display how many lives he had and he could not lose them all no matter how hard he tried. After playing for 30 minutes, he wanted to at least get his name in as the top score, so he kept letting his bird sink into the lava to try to end the game, but no luck! We wound up having to restart it.
  • We organised a chess challenge event during IGW where players from the local high school club were ready to pit their skills against anyone coming in. It was a well-attended event and we had so much interest in chess we were asked to follow it up with more events. so we have now started a monthly CHESS in the library club of sorts where anyone is welcome, all ages, all levels. it’s been great and well worth taking part in IGW!
  • A family just happened to be swinging by the library and the ended up staying for the entire evening. The dad showed his daughters how to use Duck Hunt on the NES console, a game system he used as a kid.
  • The Dungeons and Dragons Live event was something new that we decided to include in this year’s IGW programming. This past year a group of students expressed interested in DnD and in building a group or club that could meet regularly to play. As we shared this information with other students to gauge the level of interest as well as to promote IGW, we realized that there were numerous students either already playing or interested in playing the game. A few DnD materials were purchased and added to the library collection to support this student interest. Our next obvious step was to host a live gaming session as an opportunity to promote our space where students could meet and play as well as to promote the collection which now included the DnD related game materials among other games. As the day of the event drew near, we began to worry about attendance to this event as we hadn’t been able to contact the student that agreed to lead the event. The day of the event arrived and we set up as planned. Within minutes, two DnD gamemasters arrived with supplies, set up, and gradually other students gathered to join the two sessions. In the end, we had three sessions running and had to request additional tables and chairs to accommodate everyone. This event was a great example of “if you build it, they will come”.
  • We now have two “game” nights a month that were developed from the gaming week at the library. The first one is an escape room/breakout game that will be offered once a month for ages 12+. This was formed out of feedback I received from the kids themselves. The second gaming night will be an adult game night as an alternative to the bar scene. We will offer different themes each month depending on what they would like to do. The first night will be Scrabble!

Librarians had Interesting and noteworthy conversations about games and play with patrons happen during IGW.

  • People were very impressed with the VR system we had set up for the day and the potential fitness impacts it could have on gamers.
  • Our group was from 6-70 years old, and many played together happily for 90 minutes. Teens were considerate of the youngsters and elderly alike. Very gratifying to see folks of all ages having fun.
  • I had some great conversations with students and faculty alike about how valuable they think gaming and play are to the learning process. I also got some great recommendations for games for our collection.
  • I spoke with 3 parents with 9 to 12-year-old children about video games and violence, as well as what is offered here (E for everyone, T for teens, M for mature) and how I regulate and restrict games for youth. I also spoke to the parents about the lessons the children learn through gaming with others (patience, cooperation, strategy, social interactions) and swayed some of them to allowing their child the video game experience.
  • A history teacher mentioned interest in having his students play Oregon Trail during that section of US History.
  • Several families noted that they appreciated the chance to gather in a public place and share their love of games with each other.
  • A young family was keen to get their daughter playing games and solving puzzles during our ‘Taskmaster’ event, as they told us it would help her to become a better thinker and to win/lose gracefully.


Did you see an increase in the use of other library services on the day of your IGW event compared to other days?

Higher circulation of teen-related items 15.56% 7
Heavier use of computer facilities 15.56% 7
Heavier use of reference services 4.44% 2
Other * 17.78% 8
Total 100% 45

*Other included an increase of people in the library engaged with library space and materials.

Which of the following activities were part of your International Games Week program?

Board/Card Games 42.10% 216
Collectible Card Games 7.60% 39
Computer Games 6.40% 33
Console Video Games (Wii, Xbox, PlayStation) 12.50% 64
Handheld Games 3.10% 16
Life-size Games 6.00% 31
Online Games 4.50% 23
Outdoor Games 2.90% 15
Roleplaying Games 7.40% 38
Other* 7.40% 38
Total 100% 513

*Some other activities included were escape rooms, Breakouts, puzzles, game design projects, Lego, virtual reality games, and robotics to name a few.

What types of libraries participated in IGW?

Academic 9.58% 23
Elementary/Primary School (ages 5-10 years) 0.83% 2
Middle School (ages 11-13) 2.08% 5
High School (ages 14-18) 2.08% 5
Military 0.00% 0
Prison 0.42% 1
Private School 0.83% 2
Public 81.25% 195
Special 0.00% 0
Tribal 0.00% 0
Other 2.92% 7
Total 100% 249

How would you describe your library?

Rural 26.78% 64
Suburban 32.64% 78
Urban 22.18% 53
Mixed 15.90% 38
Other 2.51% 6
Total 100% 239

Does your library have a game collection?

Yes 84.10% 201
Maybe 4.60% 11
No 11.30% 27
Total 100% 239

Which video game consoles does your library own?

Microsoft Xbox 6
Microsoft Xbox 360 20
Microsoft Xbox 360 with Kinect 9
Microsoft Xbox One 18
Nintendo DS (any version) 3
Nintendo Gamecube 2
Nintendo Wii 76
Nintendo Wii U 19
Nintendo Switch 19
Sony PlayStation 2 13
Sony PlayStation 3 10
Sony PlayStation 4 27
Sony PlayStation Vita 0
Ipad 63
Gaming PCs 23
Sony VR 7
HTC Vive 7
Other* 37
Total 359

*Other includes the Oculus Rift, Oculus Go, Atari, Nintendo, and Super Nintendo, PlayStation, computer tablets, and Google Cardboard.

IGW Committee Goals
International Games Week is run by a small group of volunteers and our goal is to improve this event each year. We have read your comments.

Our goals always include increasing donations so more libraries can receive new games.

In 2019 we also hope to incorporate more of your wishes for the poster which includes a white background to save on printer ink, more room for logos, more poster choices, more file types, and translated logos. This year we added ways to promote your event and will increase the availability of promotional materials in 2019.

You are always welcome to send any comments or concerns using the GameRT contact form.

Thanks for participating and bringing the joy of play into your libraries.

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