Building a Game Community and a Game-Friendly Environment

Donald Dennis - Syracuse Game Lab

Creating the right environment for gaming - considerations and
best practices

Game space: lighting, power, internet access, ambient sound, sound isolation, food & drink
Furniture: mobile, versatile furniture is the best. Need to be able to put tables together, reach across one table
Game storage: Has to be visible! There's no point in hiding your circulating collection away from the people who you want to get to it. People know the Library has books; how do they know you have games? [how powerful is your PR machine?]
Decor: Game companies have all sort of propaganda (i.e. posters and displays) that they can provide. Why not frame an old Monopoly board? [I am feeling particularly Martha. I just might!]
Web Community: Extends the physical community through calendars, RSS, forums, wikis, personal pages
Age/Social Group Focus: Cross generational will work, but it's not going to be a solid, consistent group. Think niche (teens, seniors, etc.)
Build around a Game Focus, but don't rule out other games: Traditional card/board/dice/war games, RPGs, Electronic (arcade, handheld, console, computer games including stand alone, networked, and MMORPGs)
Game book collection development: Choose Your Own Adventures, Lost World battle books, RPGs, Humor/Comics/Graphic Novels (esp. PVP, Dork Tower, Knights of the Dinner Table)

Activities [the good stuff]

  • recurring game nights
  • tournaments
  • spotlight on traditional games
[Oh dang! He's run out of time. Says that his PowerPoint will be posted on the web later on. Also in progress is the Library Game Lab Nexus, where people will be able to get together and talk about games and libraries.]

Need to build in connections to other library programming to get the buy-in from the community!

[All the talk about board games has me itching to play Scrabble.]

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