Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Gaming in Libraries: Tue Dec 6: Eli Neiburger: "Implementing Gaming Applcations in Libraries


Eli Neiburger, Information Access and Systems Manager at Ann Arbor District Library, showed off his Zelda tattoo and told us why we need to do and how to convince the brass in his presentation “Implementing Gaming Applications in Libraries,” complete with a menu of costs of equipment required.

This is like storytime! A social program that you can repeat exactly the same way for little money and get a bigger audience every time.

Bring in all ages – family tournaments, adult tournaments.

We don’t have much to offer gamers, who have independent wealth – this is unique

Sell something below cost – take a loss to get people in the door.

He explained the value added by choosing console games. Instead of 4 playing and sharing 1 TV, everyone gets their own and you can play 8 player at a time.

Consoles are relatively inexpensive, mostly plug and play, you don’t have to worry about viruses and compatibility issues and having the latest greatest software. Kids can bring in their own consoles for you to plug into a digital projector.

Do panel discussions, collaborative storytelling, or a video contest for the MMOG players.

He talked about why he is a Nintendo Fanboy the only people who are turned off by Nintendo are the ones who think they’re too cool to use turtle shells and banana peels. Those are the Halo players, and we stick to games that are rated E and T.

Super Smash Borthers has clout – it’s one of the two games played at major league video game tournaments

Three Nintendo games have LAN mode, Super Mario Kart is the superior. It’s deep (takes a long time to master, lots of characters with diverse moves and advantages/disadvantages, making it continually rewarding to play over and over for an extended period of time), competition is steep, and it’s rated E for everyone. The only complaint that might be lodged is that it encourages aggressive driving.

Why DDR?
Most popular with girls (until the recognize that get attention if they go to Super Mario Kart and Super Smash Brothers).
No matter what pads you buy, someone will complain. The Cobalt Flux ones are the best and most durable. DDR appeals to a large age range, there are open play and competition modes, and you can divide by preferred dance level.

Super Smash /Double Dash Tournament
6 month season
6 hour tournament
single player and team events allows kids to have more than one chance to compete.
sur-prize round – random game, easy to pick up (Wario Ware, Mario Party etc)
Gift card $70, $50, $30 to Best Buy, Game Spot budget donated by Friends)
Clan Party and Leaderboards – form a 4 player team throughout season, competing for their own prize – a clan cup and iPod shuffle prize. The teams only compete with themselves to get a higher score. Bonus for clans: new player recruitment

Championship Prizes:
PSP, iPod, Nintendo DS, Gameboy Advance
Add a wildcard tournament for new players and use the top 8 players

Mario Madness weekend – set up for event and do as many events as possible
Fri night/ All Day Sat & Sun

Drupal powered website offers easy communication, promotion and instant community that gives their mania a focus and sustains interest. Eli showed the AXIS blog with 200 comments about the Thanksgiving weekend tournaments. Kids can use their Nintendo DS to register for tournaments.

Quick plug for blyberg.net, Eli’s Network Guy John Blyberg’s tech geeky blog.

Players who place 4th or high qualify to go onto the next level. Complete history of all players is logged online. A scorekeeping database is hooked into the web for live updates. Many Collectible Card Games have software or websites that allow you to collect stats.

“Oh, we don’t care if they have library cards,” said Eli in but you have a perk: you can register for the whole year and get advanced features. If we have to turn people away, card holder/tax payers will have priority.

Check In
Open Play
Build Brackets (decide who will play who – can go by order in which they sign up)
Qualifying Rounds – highest score moves on
Keep Score
Serve Food & Drink H2O for DDR
Elimination Rounds

Staff requirements: scorekeeper, MC, minimum of 2 people. Teens can call the play-by-play off the race.

Eli admitted being christened the King of All Geeks by the kids, and as an aside mentioned that getting into their hearts and minds showed career options to these kids

Televise of webcast the event (note: read end-user license agreements!)

Eli showed clips from the DVD they burned of the final 3 hour season tournament, using older gamecubes that had two outputs – one can go to a component that records (Video Toaster worth around $15000). Add music (fan remixes), interviews, etc.

Eli recommended offering open play in-between tournaments, participants will self organize and finding geeks and teens to help (share equipment, partner with schools and nonprofits), ask for sponsorships, free & low-cost promotion (cross post on sites like http://www.DDRfreak.com).

Popular with parents as a slippery slope to other library services
Tournaments : video games :: storytime : picture books
Make your library a focus for their interests
Gets boys in the door
Guaranteed to produce gasps
Promotes core services to a tough audience (but don’t give them a bibliography)
It’s not all prostitutes and gunplay
They’re going to be taxpayers someday
It’s not just for teens
Provides informal feedback opportunity
Program during school breaks
Go on the road if you can

What’s Next?
Season 2 grand championship
MaddenBowl Tournament
DDR / Karaoke Revolution
Retor Octathalon
State of Gaming Panel
Mario Kart DS Anywhere League set times and get to any wireless location to play
Super Smash/Double Dash Season 3

No comments: