Having a regular video game club can be a huge draw for programming, but not all libraries can support a club or have access to gaming systems. One great solution may be to celebrate Video Game Day on September 12th, 2017. Video Game Day celebrates the history of video gaming, and encourages both new and practiced gamers to participate by playing any form of video games- from PlayStation, Nintendo, Xbox, to PC. For libraries that lack a console, don’t fret! There are plenty of great games that can either be downloaded to a computer or can be played online!
Roblox is a popular browser-based computer game where players can customize their avatars and play with others online, from Pokémon to Minecraft-style games of creation, and many others. Roblox does require users to create an account and is suitable for most children old enough to operate a computer by themselves.
For libraries willing to spend a bit of money for a slightly older crowd, the Jackbox Party Packs from Steam may be a great investment. One Party Pack runs about $25 and contains anywhere from 4-6 games. Players use their phones as a remote for the game, which gives some flexibility with equipment and player numbers. The games range from trivia, to drawing, to bluffing, to some of the most random, gut-busting experiences.
Don’t be afraid to ask patrons what they want to see for Video Game Day- many teens are willing to bring in their own consoles to get the chance to play with others. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website provides ratings for video games to make sure games are appropriate for the intended age group of the program. Don’t forget that Inter-library loan can provide some specific game titles patrons want. Most importantly, have fun and celebrate Video Game Day Tuesday, September 12th, 2017.
Kara Williams is a Media Specialist at Hillcrest High School and Teen Librarian at Grande Prairie Public Library. She is an avid board and tabletop gamer with a passion for forcing teens to play something other than Uno and has a love of ugly cats (though her own are unfortunately rather average-looking).