Adult Programming Ideas for International Games Day at the Library

Happy 11-12-13!

Picture of tiles from Rummikub

It’s 11-12-13!  Like the Rummikub tiles for a post on games?  I do. 🙂
CC via der_dennis on Flicker

It is easy to fall into the mindset that games are for kids or that adults do not really play games.  But for International Games Day (IGD) on November 16, 2013, don’t forget about your adult patrons!

What is International Games Day?

International Games Day is an initiative through the American Library Association (ALA) wherein libraries from across the world play games on the same day (or a day close to the same day) as a means of connecting with their communities.  As described on the IGD website, ALA coordinates two parallel activities: a national video game tournament and the Global Gossip Game (like telephone but traveling from library to library on all 7 continents).  Check out the IGD site for more information on both of those.

Why would a library promote gaming?

The IGD website hosted a series of talking points over the summer for reasons why libraries should host and promote games.  One of the quotes I like from their introductory post is:

Ultimately what a library is about is providing a place where a community can share culture, information, ideas, beauty – where human thought can be made accessible for people to engage in self-directed study and exploration.

And, as they say, every culture basically has some form of games.  I will let you check out both the IGD Talking Points posts and the quotes and videos featured on I Love Libraries for more information on why games in libraries are awesome.

Games for Adult Programming on International Games Day

Children play games all the time.  Teachers frequently use games to help students understand concepts in school.  Gaming teaches socialization skills, and, depending on the game, cooperation skills.  Techno Sky talks about studies done on the effects of video games on retention and other skills over at Tech2Games.

But kids don’t have to stop playing games when they get older.  There are plenty of games to interest all types of adult players.  Below are just a very few examples of the different types of games you could offer your adult patrons during International Games Day.  And this doesn’t even include video games options!

Party Games

Party games can generally include a lot of people.

Party games can generally include a lot of people and hilarity often ensues.

Party games are typically games that can accommodate many players, generally in teams.  Frequently the games can cause a lot of laughter, so beware, you might just have fun!  Some examples of party games are

  • Say Anything
  • Telestrations
  • Pictionary
  • Cranium
  • Apples to Apples
  • Outburst
  • Taboo
  • Balderdash
  • Scattergories

Card Games

Picture of several different types of card games.

Card games come in many types.

Card games can range anywhere from traditional card games suited playing cards (like Gin, Hearts, or Spades) to specific card games (like Phase 10, Skip Bo, or UNO).

Traditional Board Games

Composite picture of several different traditional board games.

So many types of board games exist to play!

Traditional board games is actually a bit of a misnomer.  I call it traditional board games because the games I consider “traditional” (along with chess, checkers, backgammon, Mancala, and Chinese Checkers), are Monopoly, Scrabble, Trivial Pursuit and other fun family games like that.  Again, others may not exactly consider them to be traditional, but there are already several categories of games!


Picture of several different types of Eurogames

Looking for something different? Give a Eurogame a try.

Eurogames, also known as German-style games, can seem very complicated if you are unfamiliar with them.  If you know people who play these types of games, it can be helpful for new players to watch before they play, or to have someone explain the game to them.

If no one at your library owns any of this type of game, you may try to partner with a local gaming store to borrow demo versions.  This will hopefully also encourage potential patrons to partake in your IGD celebration and see what the library is like these days.

The games pictured are truly just a small portion of this category of games.  Some other popular games are:

  • Red Dragon Inn
  • Forbidden Island
  • Dominion
  • Ascension
  • Agricola
  • Race for the Galaxy
  • Small World

What is your library doing for International Games Day?

Is your library participating in IGD13?  What types of games are they offering?  Do you have games for adults to play, too?  Let me know in the comments.


4 thoughts on “Adult Programming Ideas for International Games Day at the Library

  1. Thanks for the quote! I love playing Apples 2 Apples with my friends…. another set of friends play Settlers of Katan and they say it’s addictive! Mancala is also a good board type game.

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