October update – getting close!

Hi everyone! Wow, time flies – the 10th and I haven’t done an update! Technically I’m still in the right week (the first Monday was this week). But at a third of the way into the month, it doesn’t feel like it – apologies!

Anyway, down to business. The first thing to note is the extent to which our international participation has already grown this year – if you have a look at our map we’re growing noticeably in four continents. Pretty good for a volunteer-run event!

[Note – this map is updated weekly and may contain more registrations than the remarks below reflect.]

In Africa, we’ve roughly doubled last year’s participation, and likewise here in Oz – in fact, I know of several libraries around Australia which are planning events but apparently not yet registered, so we might even triple last year’s numbers here.

In Europe, we also have Nordic Game Day invisibly adding another hundred or two libraries to the day’s celebrations (most Nordic libraries register only with that event). Thomas Vigild, the organiser of Nordic Game Day, does a fantastic job of organising the event and posts some great articles on their blog (for instance, this awesome guide to interesting free browser games for the day). Highly recommended! However, since Nordic Game Day has been going for a few years now, we’re only doubling the non-Scandinavian participation. I’m still happy with that!

And in Antarctica, I’m proud to say, we’re up by over one trillion percent, an increase we’re unlikely to match ever again! (What? One trillion percent of zero is zero, and we’re one over that number.) (All right, it’s a bit cheeky, but even one in Antarctica is pretty exciting in my book. As you may have noticed.)

North American registrations, while still plentiful, are down on where they were this time last year – so get the word out to your library friends. It’s not too late to register and participate, and while you miss out on most of the sponsorship, you still get the chance to play in the tournaments and the Global Gossip Game, plus the sponsored free multiplayer access on GameTable Online. (Thanks again guys!) That said, given the year libraries are having in the US of A (especially after the last few years like it), I think you all get a round of applause just for hanging in there.

South America currently looks like it’s empty, but I have had verbal confirmation from a couple of GGG participants and indications that there might be others joining them, so technically we’ve at least doubled our numbers there too.

The continent of Asia is at 4 libraries, thanks to the Middle East – welcome to our participants in Tripoli (Lebanon) and Thuwal (Saudi Arabia)! Southeast Asia, however, is the only region other than North America which is down – to only 2 locations (India and Kazakhstan), which is about half last year. So that invitation to your library friends to join us for IGD goes double for anyone in that part of the world!

So that’s how we’re travelling at this point. From my vantage point here in Oz, it’s pretty impressive. Libraries are always up against demand that’s overwhelmingly greater than we can meet, our work is both constant and constantly changing, and lately we’re contending with a beancounting mindset that not only can’t see the inherent value in what we do, but can’t see the massive economic value either, and so will almost inevitably underestimate the value we provide. That we can still manage to offer these kinds of unique experiences is both pretty darn impressive, and business as usual – which takes that impressive and doubles down on it. So thanks, everyone, for making the world smarter, more varied, better connected and more interesting – and not coincidentally, more fun as well.

Global Gossip Game

For those of you wondering when the Global Gossip Game will get rolling, the answer is – very soon! I’m going to start putting together a tentative roster next weekend, and I’m aiming to make sure all participants have their instructions and the contact details they’ll need by the 2nd of November.

The rules this year will be about the same as last year’s, but I’m going to revise all the instructions and signage and maybe add an alternative suggestion for how to run it (based on how some of the participants did it last year – thanks folks!). If I get time, I’ll also put together a template for a press release you can use to promote the event to the local media, talking about the Global Gossip Game as both a metaphor for how libraries connect people all around the world and a lesson in the importance of accurate information.

If anyone has any suggestions for things that could go into the Global Gossip Game kits, please feel free to be in touch!

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