I’m Philip Minchin, an Australian freelance game writer and consultant to schools, libraries and other institutions on games and play, and the editor of the International Games Day @ your library blog.
I’m doing a blog swap with your fabulous co-ordinator Lone – and I just want to thank her (and the previous co-ordinator Thomas) for working with us on IGD. Lone has been terrific at helping us work out how we can link thriving local events like Nordic Game Day to the bigger worldwide event without distracting from those local efforts. I’m really excited by the possibilities for us working together into the future to make the day even more awesome for everyone everywhere – both the library staff who make it happen and the public who enjoy it!
So for those of you who don’t know about us, IGD is the worldwide partner to the Nordic Game Day. This year, we have over 1200 libraries in over 30 countries and territories on all the settled continents worldwide: Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Canada, China, Croatia, Cuba, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kosovo, Nigeria, the Northern Mariana Islands, Norway, Philippines, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, and the USA! Obviously, we’re better-represented in Australia, Europe and North America than elsewhere – so if anyone has any library connections with Africa, Asia, and Central & South America, please let us know.
But even though we didn’t quite get to every continent this year as we did last year, it was a near-miss, both for Antarctica and for some very interesting travelling libraries. So keep an eye out for us next year!
Like Nordic Game Day, we also run a blog of ideas and discussion around games and play in libraries. We’ve run a few interesting series this year: people from the games industry talking about libraries, authors and librarians talking about games, anecdotes from past IGDs as inspiration for this year’s, some surprisingly interesting profiles of our sponsors (I’m especially proud of the first two in particular), and some discussion around why exactly play really does matter so much (following on from the series around games in libraries last year). Feel free to check them out and let us know what you think!
On top of that, we oversee a couple of world-wide inter-library events.
The first is an international videogame tournament, organised by the amazing Ann Arbor District Library (seriously, they just keep impressing me with the things they do – and especially in the US context, where the library sector is being starved of resources to a truly shocking degree). This year, they’re running an International Minecraft Hunger Games – which is particularly pleasing in a Nordic context of course, Minecraft being such a Scandinavian success story!
The second is the Global Gossip Game, which several of you have joined us in playing over the last few years. I invented and organised it as a way for libraries to play a single game together even across timezones and without requiring specialised technology, and also to highlight some of the awesome things about libraries (the fact that we are all connected by libraries into a worldwide community of culture and learning, and the importance of the work libraries put into making sure our information is accurate!). The GGG has become so popular that I can’t actually get everyone who wants to play into the main game (all my work for IGD is as a volunteer) – so what I am starting to do is encourage people to organise their own local branches, where a library that has the official Secret passes it on not only to the next official library but through a string of other libraries in the region. If anyone in Scandinavia is interested in helping run a Nordic Game Day branch for 2015, be sure to tell me and Lone!
While there’s no time left to join in those inter-library events, it’s not too late to register for IGD if you’d like to officially join in the worldwide celebration as well as Nordic Game Day, and to appear on our map of participating libraries – and it’s completely free to do so! Just go to http://bit.ly/igd14 and fill out the form. Not only will that put you on our map, but it will add you to our mailing list for next year to hear about the opportunities for libraries in 2015. Plus it looks super impressive to funding bodies to say that you were part of an event that connected you to all those dots all over the world!
So thanks everyone for reading, and for joining in the festivities on November 15. Happy International Games Day AND Nordic Game Day, and I hope you all have a wonderful time this Saturday!