IGD14 final report

Hi folks! Here are some initial stats based on the survey responses to 10 December. It’s not too late to still have your say though! More information is always helpful, so if you haven’t already done so, fill out the survey at http://bit.ly/igd14survey.

A note on estimates

We have received 421 replies to our survey (just over a one-third response rate from 1257 registrations). When reporting the numbers, I’ll give the confirmed number from just those libraries, and then give an estimate based on multiplying their average out across the total number of registrations. However, on the grounds that self-selection may result in libraries with high numbers being more likely to respond to the survey (though there’s no problem from our end with a small IGD event as long as everyone had fun!), I’ll report 2 estimates – a flat average and then a weighted average.

The flat average will simply be “the average at our responding libraries was X; multiply that average by the number of registrations”. This is likely to be a little higher than the reality on the day.

The weighted average will assume that non-responding libraries had, on average, only half the numbers of responding libraries. So if our 421 responding libraries average 10 each, the remaining libraries will be assumed to have 5 each. This is likely to be a little lower than the reality on the day, but for the sake of being conservative in our estimates this is the number I’ll use.

Participating libraries

We had 1257 libraries register, but as I indicated in the final pre-IGD update, many of those registrations covered multiple IGD celebrations.

Of our 421 survey responses, enough libraries indicated that they had done this that (even taking into account last-minute cancellations) the average registration counted for 1.152 libraries! In other words, for every 15 registrations we had just over 17 actual participating libraries. From 1257 registrations we get:

  • Flat average – 1,448 libraries
  • Weighted average – 1,385 libraries

(Neither of these numbers includes the 90 Scandinavian libraries that registered for Nordic Game Day but not IGD. Adding them to our weighted average means that we had 1475 libraries around the world playing on IGD!)

Public participation

From our 421 responses thus far, 400 gave us attendance figures (the record was 600 at Biblioteket i Ekerö centrum, in Ekerö, Stockholm, Sweden! Congrats folks!). At those 400 libraries, the total confirmed participation was 18261 people – an average of 45.65 per registration.

Expanding that to 1257 registrations, we get:

  • Flat average – 57,385 participants
  • Weighted average – 37,823 participants

Expanding that further to include the 90 confirmed Nordics that didn’t register with IGD, we get:

  • Flat average – 61,494 participants
  • Weighted average – 39,877 participants

Library registrations by region and country

Africa (2)

  • Nigeria (1)
  • South Africa (1)

Americas (1183)

  • Central America & Caribbean (2)
    • Cuba (1)
    • Honduras (1)
  • North America (1177)
    • Canada (26)
    • USA (1151)
  • South America (5)
    • Argentina (3)
    • Paraguay (2)

Asia, Oceania & the Pacific (88)

  • Asia (11)
    • Bangladesh (1)
    • China (2)
    • India (1)
    • Indonesia (1)
    • Japan (3)
    • Philippines (3)
  • Australasia (75)
    • Australia (75)
  • Middle East (1)
    • Iran (1)
  • Pacific (1)
    • Northern Mariana Islands (1)

Europe (68, or 158 with Nordic Game Day libraries)

  • Far Eastern Europe (2)

    • Belarus (1)
    • Russia (1)
  • Eastern Europe (4, or 35 with NGD libraries)

    • Romania (1)
    • Finland (3, or 34 NGD)
  • Central Europe (41, or 100 with NGD libraries)

    • Bosnia and Herzegovina (1)
    • Croatia (1)
    • Germany (7)
    • Denmark (9, or 29 NGD)
    • Italy (10)
    • Kosovo (1)
    • Norway (5, or 35 NGD)
    • Serbia (1)
    • Sweden (5, or 12 NGD)
  • Western Europe/GMT (19, or 21 with NGD libraries)
    • UK (16)
    • Ireland (1)
    • Iceland (2, or 4 NGD)
    • Portugal (2)
  • North Atlantic (1)
    • Greenland [Denmark] (1)


IGD outcomes

One of the questions we ask is about the actual results of the day. Here’s what folks said were the outcomes for them of running IGD (again, this is out of 421 respondents):

General comments

Here’s a (small, believe it or not) sampling of comments on and stories from the day (which come from all over – I recognise comments from places including Australia, Canada, Honduras, Italy, Serbia and the USA):

  • “‘Playing games at the library? Who knew?’ — from one of our newer patrons!”
  • “This was our first International Games Day. We had a great day and pulled in over 100 patrons. We were not able to participate in all of the activities offered due to staffing and time, but because we had such a success this year I hope to be able to participate in many more next year. Thanks for all of your hard work and great ideas.”
  • “I love how big this is growing – I am grateful for all of the donations from the game companies.  It is a great time to have a games day – many patrons state that this gives them ideas for Christmas gifts. “
  • “The students (our event was for our middle school and high school students only) loved telling me all about their favorite games (online and video).  A lot of it was Greek to me, but I loved having those conversations and seeing their enthusiasm and passion for the games.  I was also glad that they got to see that we are interested in them and what they find interesting.”
  • “La partecipazione del Multiplo all’IGD è stata caratterizzata dalla “invasione” degli spazi dedicati ai libri e alla lettura da parte dei giochi da tavolo: una scelta fatta sia per differenziare la giornata in una struttura che ha già il gioco tra i suoi servizi con spazi dedicati, che per far incontrare il gioco a chi ne ha perso l’abitudine o non lo vede come un’attività culturale al pari di qualsiasi altra. La concomitanza di più proposte differenziate ha richiamato l’attenzione di fasce di pubblico diverse per età e interessi: adulti, giovani e ragazzi che si sono lasciati incuriosire dall’una o dall’altra riuscendo anche a partecipare a più di una iniziativa. Si è creata una bella sinergia tra le associazioni di gioco, che hanno partecipato con esperti dimostratori e proposte tematiche, e la sfida gaming che non ha mancato di interessare alcuni di loro; i ragazzini venuti per il gaming a loro volta hanno poi partecipato anche al gioco da tavolo scoprendo giochi nuovi, intelligenti e divertenti.”
    [Ci scusiamo per la traduzione goffo!/Apologies for the clumsy translation!]
    (“Multiplo Cultural Centre’s participation in IGD was characterized by the invasion’ of the spaces dedicated to books and reading by tabletop games: we made a choice to differentiate the day in a facility that already has the game among its services with dedicated spaces, in order to reintroduce the game to those who lost the habit or do not see it as a cultural activity like any other. The combination of several different offerings drew the attention of audiences of different ages and interests: adults, young people and children who are left intrigued by either managing to participate in more than one initiativethe kids came for videogaming, then in turn also participated in board games, discovering new, intelligent and entertaining games.)
  • “To promote IGD we had guest speakers on the video game industry and game theory/economics. The students and staff both found these very interesting.”
  • “One child stated on his way out of our program room ‘I just love coming to the library!'”
  • “People began to show up on the days following the event asking to use meeting rooms to play games in our collection.”
  • “One parent did not want her son to register because ‘games were a waste of time.’ I had posted some information on the web site that I have collected from ALA’s promotional materials over the years and directed her to it. They came to our game day!”
  • “If there were people (including the teens & children) who knew how to play a particular game they shared their knowledge with others who didn’t know.”
  • “A few students stopped by to take a break from studying. After playing a game they felt revived… ready to study again.”
  • “Our first attendees were an elderly couple who got straight in to the arcade machines, it was AWESOME!”
  • “For those who attended, it was a wonderful day of seeing friends, gaming, visiting and just relaxing in an environment that wasn’t demanding their attention or money.  It felt like a community use area to have the option to game w/o being at a store, someone’s home, or a restaurant.”
  • “My favorite interaction was with a parent who came in – 40s heavy metal dude – with donations from local comic and card shop of Magic: the Gathering starter decks. He invited other gaming dads to bring their kids that day to get their kids excited about card and roleplaying games so they could have a place to game each week. We’d been running a club for 3 years but the same few kids, and his complaint with the card shops was their events were all adults so he wanted to revive a club for kids and made a commitment to be there each week to get it going. “
  • “‘Will this be every week?’
    ‘What time does it start next week?’
    ‘I used to play this game all the time with my dad!'”
  • “We had two donations of Fluxx Oz, and we played a single elimination rock/paper/scissors tournament to decide who got the extra copy.  Kids to adults, all were laughing by the end.”
  • “Since working on the plan and execution of our IGD14 event, I’ve become interested in tying gaming and brain exercises to library programming for older adults. Even more so after last night’s 7.30 Report: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2014/s4132162.htm
  • “This is my 5th year participating, and it is by far my favorite event of the year.  Thank you so much to everyone involved in IGD for all of the hard work you put into this event – it truly shows.”
  • “I noticed kids playing the game and using school based skills like adding and counting, calculating. All stuff they hate, but suddenly were using in ‘real life’.”
  • “Some of the older staff members were very surprised at how beneficial and productive this event was. They were surprised at the level of interaction with one another that the children and teens were displaying. Also, they were surprised at how understanding the library patrons were towards the slightly-noisier-than-usual teens and children; staff received no complaints about the event.”
  • “We have a small group of teens whose participation in library gaming is one of their few social activities.  They look forward to it and it has given them a way to connect with other young people who share their interests.  It has been huge for them!”
  • “Thanks to everyone who worked hard to make it happen. We found that with a little food, people stayed longer than they otherwise would have! It was a really fun day!”
  • “We had lots of great feedback. We pulled out a few vintage gaming consoles and had some parents that really enjoyed showing their kids that games that they grew up playing. We also launched our Minecraft servers, and watching the kids work together and show those less skilled how to play or do things was really great.”
  • “One Mom told me we should do this more often and asked if our game collection was available for checkout.”
  • “As someone who firmly believes in ‘learning through play,’ I have always loved IGD. I want to bring more and more games into my library and offer sit-downs with parents about what their children (or them, if they want to play!) are learning with each game, but it’s been a slow process. The work IGD does to bring attention to gaming and its benefits is invaluable. Thank you so much!”
  • “I feel that this is a great way to showcase our libraries and invite a different group of people into our libraries. It creates fun and excitement and helps others to see that libraries are fun, relevant, and important.”
  • “A great way for our library to be a vital and fun destination.  Two parents asked what games had to do with the library.  After discussion they realized that we are not just about the books. Very positive.”
  • “We partnered with the regional Manager Dan Blodgett of It’s Your Move game store who came and showed staff about 20 games of appeal to kids and teens, and adults. It was a HUGE hit with staff… We unexpectedly got Yu-Gi-Oh! cards that turned out to inspire a group to come play regularly at the library, addressing one of our goals in increase teen participation in library programs.”
  • Little brother bugging his older sibling to let him join a game of Munchkin:
    ‘We’re in the middle of the game!’
    ‘But I want to play too!’
    ‘You’re too Young to understand the rules!’
    ‘Am not! Please let me join!’
    ‘Can I join the next game?’

    ‘Are you done yet?’
    Of course, by the time the munchkins were actually done backstabbing one another, the younger kid had found the Air Hockey table…”
  • “We had a local middle school robotics team come in for this event. They are working on designing a board game to help high school students learn the periodic table. They loved learning about new games and game design theory from our guest speaker.”
  • “One teenager, who is always a handful, started out playing Scrabble trying to cheat the entire time. I was no nonsense and told him there will be no cheating if we are going to take the time to play and he actually agreed. I showed him how to get a word in worth 39 points and he lost only by 2 points!”
  • “One of my favorite things about IGD was there were no ‘rules’ for participating libraries – we didn’t have to do this or have to do that.  Each library could plan as little or as much as they wanted.  That made it do-able for me!”
  • “I also put on a Game Jam session during IGD, getting a couple teens to create their own board game in 20 minutes with a simple board and random game pieces.  It went over very well, and it’s something I would do again.  I got the idea from a Game Jam session at the ALA 2014 conference in Las Vegas.”
  • “We have had a great time, and will try to do this again in near future. Libraries are definitely the best spaces for playing games. We all need to put some more effort to make people see them like spaces where you can read, study, relax, play and have a great time.”
  • “A few parents (and members of the press)  became aware of the educational value that is held in game play.  In a reverse fashion, parents also became aware of the value of reading books about video games (yes, it still counts as reading!).”
  • “Our middle school principal dropped by and played a game of chess with one of his students.”
  • “I talked with a number of adults (not parents, just patrons passing through the library) who were overjoyed to see kids and families have such visible fun in the library. There is something infectious in the library environment when people are having fun playing games–it spreads to others.”
  • “Yay!”


 Global Gossip Game

The final report for this year’s GGG is still waiting to hear back from some satellite games, but should go up soon. Meanwhile I can report that we had 996 players, playing the game in 11 languages (Cantonese, Croatian, Danish, English, French, German, Mandarin, Norwegian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish), taking the Secret through 375 variations, over 26.5 hours, at 76 libraries (plus 3 more that tried to join in), in 17 countries! (Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Croatia, Denmark, Greenland (an autonomous country within the Kingdom of Denmark), India, Italy, Kosovo, Norway, Philippines, Russia, Serbia, Sweden, the UK, and the USA (including the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands)

The game started as “Games are… an intrinsic and natural feature of human nature”, a quote from pioneering education theorist Lev Vygotsky’s 1926 book Educational Psychology. The game branched three times, turning into:

  • 10 miles of 10 (Dallas Public Library, Dallas, TX, USA)
  • Allen (Mark Twain Neighborhood Library, Long Beach, CA, USA) – possibly a reference to a certain BBC marmot?
  • My skinny knees (Placer County Library, Auburn, CA, USA)
  • It’s snowing (Clinton Public Library, Clinton, WI, USA)

Some comments:

  • “It was a a terrific way to kick-start the day. We were the first players; it got several members quickly engaged and happy to pass on the secret message to other folks in the library.”
  • “It is very funny, great idea!”
  • “Everything is in English… All the publicity, the explication, etc. Would be interesting to have it in other language, like French.” (This is a great point and something I would love to see happen! Are there any volunteers who can help with translations? But meanwhile, for future reference, we actually strongly encourage people to at least play in whatever language they like 😀 )
  • “The Global Gossip worked well. I actually created a Google Map of all the library locations to show participants where the “secret” was travelling, which they thought was cool.”
  • “At the end of GGG, the last player who was supposed to send the phrase to receiving library, was blushing and asked is there any rule about bad words. Game organizer told him of course. He was relieved and said ‘Oh, good! Then it’s a horse.'”
  • “Our participants loved the Global Gossip Game!  They were so interested to hear that this game was played all over the world today.  Our youngest participant was 3 and our eldest was in her 60s. We found that the inter-generational aspect really changed the game dramatically. Our adult participants were the sources of each of our phrase deviations (which is not to say that everyone over the age of 18 has hearing problems!). Including a more diverse age group really made the GGG event more exciting.”
  • “I heard college students discussing the Global Gossip Game, and how it was sort of silly to play, but would be interesting to see how the phrase morphs across the world, and how different cultures might play the game differently.”
  • Awesome game! Great fun and easy to connect patrons who would normally not talk to one another. Great community builder!”
  • “We had a lot of fun. People were more likely to participate when they learned how far it had travelled. Several families found it entertaining when their youngest would shout the first part of the secret and then whisper the last portion when they remembered that ‘it is a secret and you have to whisper’.”


International Minecraft Hunger Games

See the victory report for the stats from this event! Some comments:

  • “The kids had an absolute blast! We connected with another local library and are organising future games between us. There were a few tech glitches but it all worked out in the end. Really glad there was a week to test it all out. Thanks!”
  • “The library got great engagement from our target demographic for this event (upper primary and lower secondary aged students). We held three Reapings in the lead up to the Regional Semi Finals on IGD, and despite some technical difficulties, the kids who attended seemed to have a great time. We’ve had quite a few requests for a regular Minecraft club/activity at the library, and are following up on this. Even better, library staff were able to build rapport with some of our ‘problem’ teens by being able to connect on something fun where we deferred to them as experts. I would highly recommend this type of event to public libraries, and commend AADL for their efforts in coordinating this project.”
  • “It was our first time running a Minecraft event and even though we started late with advertising it (and this only on a small scale) we immediately got registrations for the event and quite a number of people showing up. It definitely got us hooked for more – even trying to run our own server.”
  • “One of our teens didn’t really want to participate but did because everyone else was; he ended up winning at our library. He then came in second at our semi-final. It was awesome to see his excitement mount through out the day and especially during the semi-final. The map was a great way for those not playing to see what was happening as well as participating in my feeding information to the players. It was also cool to run into players from other libraries we knew in other states during the semi-finals.”
  • “We run a weekly Game Club program and host a library server already. Our patron was the winner [Congrats again! – Ed.] and we sent out a follow up press release with photo and signed release form. School Library Journal contacted us based on what AADL wrote on the ALA IGD blog”.
  • “The kids had a blast playing with people from other libraries! I would love to host another similar program in the near future.”

There were also comments – expressed with varying degrees of humour – about the mailing lists blowing up and keeping people’s inboxes rather busy. Rest assured that the lesson has been learned and we will work on this for next year!


Comments about Donations

As always, the generosity of our donors was a hugely important part of the day’s success. Here’s a sampling of what libraries had to say about the donations this year:

GameTable Online

  • “Thank you so much for providing our and other schools with the opportunity and the resources.”
  • “Thank you for your generous contribution to IGD.  It is so fun to be able to offer GameTable Online to our patrons for free!”
  • “Thanks for allowing us to preview your site for Game Day!”

Good Games

  • “Thanks for the donations! We have made them available to the public at all times and we really appreciate your involvement!”
  • “These games were such a hit with the kids I cannot thank the company enough.”
  • “We’d like to thank Good Games for their kind donations of the board games. We appreciate their support and effort!”
  • “Very well received and the families that took them home to start their gaming collection were very happy.”
  • “All the games purchased for the event, and for loaning after the event, were from our local Good Games store.”


  • “Many of our Yu-Gi-Oh! players come from an underprivileged background. The decks provided by Konami allowed our kids to play each other on equal footing. Thank You!”
  • “Thank you for sending Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and instructions!  During the game day we had local Yu-Gi-Oh! players come to the event and we are now going to start having weekly Yu-Gi-Oh! meetings alongside our Pokemon League.”
  • “Yu-Gi-Oh! was our biggest hit at IGD this year. Thank you so much for supplying our library with trading cards, mats, and instructions. We all had a lot of fun learning how to play.”

Looney Labs

  • “Thank you so much for donating Oz Fluxx and Pink Hijinx to the Ephrata Public Library. Both of the games were pretty popular. A lot of people commented that they really enjoyed the combination of simplicity and strategy employed in Pink Hijinx. Thank you again!”
  • “Thank you so much! Fluxx is awesome and I’ve loved learning Pink Hijinx.”
  • “We appreciate your games and your support of libraries.”
  • “Thanks for Oz Fluxx and Pink Hijinks.  They were an important part of our game day and Pink Hijinks was a favorite.  Thanks for making such innovative games and supporting libraries by sharing them with us.”


  • “This kit is a great start to our role-playing collection. Thanks for the kind donation!”
  • Pathfinder is such a great game for libraries – the fact that there is a line of published fiction that is set in the same world YOU get to adventure in really excited people because they felt like they were stepping into a larger, “living” world. (And that’s before we even mention the Pathfinder Society!) Plus of course the graphics are better than any videogame could ever manage, and the freedom to improvise outside a pre-programmed set of possible actions and really play a character rather than a set of statistics, makes it all so much more compelling!”
  • “Our college kids love playing role playing games. Thanks! This will continue to get great use on our game nights.”
  • “My gamer friends have been vaguely encouraging about International Games Day, but not super excited, because they assumed that it would only be “non-gamer” games for a general audience. But when I told them Paizo had come on board, they really sat up and took notice! Thanks for helping get roleplaying games – and roleplaying gamers – into the library! (Where we belong, I might add!)”


  • “Thank you so much for sponsoring International Games Day 2014! Enchanted Forest was an important game to me as a child, and it was a wonderful experience to share it with the younger generation. They were just as captivated with it as I was as a kid. Thanks again for supporting such an important event in our libraries!”
  • “Kids at our library loved Bugs in the Kitchen, and I think their parents had just as much fun playing as they did.”
  • “Thank you for your support of libraries and teens!  Your donation means the world to us! Bugs in the Kitchen was the big hit! Kids still come in and ask for that game to play during their lunch break!”

Simply Fun

  • “LOVED!!! LOVED Walk the Dog. We are still playing it and the kids cry “don’t take my babies” when the dog catcher card is drawn.  Thank you so much for this game!”
  • Walk the Dog was the only game anyone played on IGD. It was played by a preteen Spanish-speaker and a middle-aged disabled woman (and a staff member). Two people who would not have otherwise engaged with each other played three rounds of this game and had a great time!”
  • “Thanks! My younger kids loved Walk the Dog.”


  • “Thanks for the download of Golden Sky Stories. We have never had anything like that at our library before.”
  • “My teens are really looking forward to playing this!”
  • “We are so thankful to [Starline] for the download. We are looking to build a small collection of RPGs for youth and families, so this is a perfect complement to our program. We have parents who have specifically requested RPGs to play with their kids, so we will be referring them to Golden Sky.”
  • “The game was beautiful and so engaging! Visitors absolutely loved playing it and immediately ran out to buy their own copies. Thank you so much!”

Steve Jackson Games

  • Castellan was very educational.  Please continue creating these awesome games for our patrons.”
  • “Wow! Thank you for your generous gift! We’ll be using the games a lot in teen programs in the future.”
  • “I have loved your games since the 70s and I really love getting them into the hands of first time gamers, so they can enjoy them as well.”
  • “My teens LOVE Munchkin!”


  • Tapple was a big hit with our patrons!”
  • “This was a big hit with parents and kids. It is good for all ages.”
  • “Some of our teens had a great time playing Crossways. Thanks for the donation!”
  • “I didn’t request the donation this year, but I requested it last year, and I’m happy to report that it’s made plenty of folks happy ever since – including at this year’s IGD! Thanks again!”

Thank you to all our donors for sharing the day with us!


And that’s about it for this year! I’m going to follow up with some reflections and thankyous shortly, but the most important thanks once again to all the libraries (and library staff) who joined us for another fabulous event. Keep November 21 free next year!

(And before I sign out – happy mostly-belated International Human Rights Day to everyone! Sorry, couldn’t resist the chance to get my two favourite International Days in a single post 🙂 )

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