Mini Game Convention
Teens interact with each other as they discover a variety of games.
Ages 12 to 18; number of players varies according to room capacity.
Approximately 6 to 8 hours. Teens may come and go.
Prepare posters and display them in the library, area game stores, arcades, malls, movie theaters, and movie and game rental stores to publicize the event. Send posters and fliers to area game clubs. Submit news releases and public service announcements to newspapers and radio stations.
Recruit teen volunteers, advisory board members, and regular teen patrons to assist with the game convention. They may help to select the games, publicize the event, sit in on gaming sessions that need an extra player to get started, and begin spontaneous games with teens who are hesitant to participate.
Invite area game stores, comic book stores, youth leaders, and youth organizations such as the YMCA and school chess clubs to collaborate with the library in planning and hosting this event.
Prepare certificates and gather prizes for the winners.
When the games have been selected, gather all items necessary for play.
Gather library materials (fiction and non-fiction) that relate to the games to display at the convention.
Teenagers love games. Plan a day filled with opportunities for them to play a variety of games, some familiar and some exotic. Simultaneously schedule a variety of games and possibly tournaments as well. Include board, card, and role-playing games such as those listed in the next section. Select games that are currently popular among area teens as well as games that may offer new experiences. Ask local game stores and teenagers who have attended gaming conventions and tournaments to help organize the schedule. Provide prizes and/or certificates to the winners.
Depending on the length of the game day, offer this program in the library meeting room, at a community center, or possibly at a local mall. If the library is not open to the public when the game day is scheduled, consider holding it in the Library itself.
Allow teens to preregister at your library for the game or games that they want to play. Teens who attend without preregistering may play games in which there is space available.
Suggestions for Games
Collectable Card Games such as Pokeman and Magic. Offer collectible card games that are currently popular in your local area. Ask game stores for guidance in determining rules for these games and/or tournaments.
Role-playing Games. Ask game store representatives and other expe- rienced adults to run a variety of role-playing games. If needed, provide dice or cards for teens who are unfamiliar with these games. Some popular games are Dungeons and Dragons, Alternity, Star Wars, and Star Trek. Depending on the game, each session will be around 3 hours. Generally four to six players will be appropriate.
Board Games such as Chess, Monopoly, Stratego, Battleship, etc. Games vary in length and in number of players.
Non-collectable Card Games such as hearts, UNO, battle, Dalmutti, and Illuminati. These are great to offer throughout the day because they do not always take a long amount of time to play. Allow teens who arrive without registering to play these games.
Video and Computer Games. Video and arcade games are relatively accessible to many teenagers. If your library has computer and/or arcade games available, include them in your program.
Instead of one game day, provide a series of monthly game tournaments. Offer a card game one month, a board game tournament the next, and a role-playing game the following month.
Have a 2-hour game night at the library once each month in which teens informally get together to play a variety of board games or other games.
Young Adult and Professional Resources
- Chess: From First Moves to Checkmate by Daniel King.
- Crusader by Edward Bloor.
- Dangerous Games by Joan Aiken.
- Digimon: The Official Game Guide.
- Dungeons and Dragons: The Movie by Neal Barrett, Jr.
- Head Games by Christopher Golden.
- Hoyle’s Rules of Games: Descriptions of Indoor Games of Skill and Chance, With Advice On Skillful Play by Albert H. Morehead and Georffrey Mott Smith.
- Learn Chess in a Weekend by Ken Whyld.
- Magic the Gathering, Volumes 1 and 2 by Beth Moursand.
- Pokemon: Prima’s Official Strategy Guide by Elizabeth Hollinger.
- The Thieves’ Guild by Jeff Crook.
- Winning Chess Tactics and Strategies by Ted Nottingham.
- Your Move, J.P.! by Lois Lowry.