Saturday, March 18, 2006

More than just video games

Much of the focus for incorporating games into libraries has been on video games, but there are more innovations in board games and card games than I think most librarians realize.
  1. CCG. A collectible card game is sold in starter decks and booster packs. The player designs a deck of normally around 60 cards to play with. The cards serve as objects to play with such as a person, a spell or a weapon. These cards are used to enhance each other as well, so building a deck can take months even for the most skilled players. I have heard it referred to as cardboard crack, and I must agree. The uncertainty of opening a new booster pack, the anticipation of the card you have been searching for, can be very thrilling, and expensive. Many poorer players have turned to CCG Workshop to play.
    • Magic has been popular for 20 years (and it isn't going away). There are many card games that have 3 year lifespans, but I haven't been to the gaming store to know the current trend. Examples are Magi-Nation<3,Legend of the Five Rings, Neopets, and Pirates.
  2. Miniatures- This type of play uses tiny figurines resembling the character you play, the terrain, and any other objects encountered in the game. Fans of this type of game will are very precise in their representation emphasizing scale. Everything is calculated to be a proportional smaller version of the world, including movement.
    • Dungeons and Dragons, Hero Clix, Mage Knight, and Mechwarrior
  3. Crazy Card games- Traditionally card games involve a deck of 52 cards from Ace to King, but some developers have creatively taken the card, and printed their own game on these hand held pieces of true oddity. Unlike CCGs these games are playable without the purchase of additional cards, but expansions are available to make the game more fun.
  4. Board Games- In addition to the games that most played when growing up, there are large variety of European games that are played by teens and adults. Most of the companies are based in Germany, but come to the United States for Conventions and sell at local gaming stores.
  5. Role Playing- A role playing game(RPG) is created to allow the player to take on a different persona. If you have heard of Role Playing then you most likely have heard about Dungeons and Dragons, but there are many other titles available. The world in controlled by large books of rules, that quantify all aspects in order to be calculated into probability equations, equated with rolls of dice. This is more a genre of games than a type of game, but it is important to note the paper RPG which plays differently than the immersive video RPG.
    • Dungeons and Dragons is still very popular paper RPG. A few years ago, Vampire was popular especially with the players that LARP( Live Action Role Playing- Dress up and walk through the "Dungeon" as character). My husband is currently working to adapt the Hero System, which is an revision of the Champion system.
  6. Social Games - These games serve as ice breakers, and are designed to allow people to interact. Most of the games involve trivia, or word usage, but also are fun to play with family and friends
    • Cranium, Taboo, Catch Phrase, Apples to Apples, Scatagories, Scrabble, Scene It, Man Bites Dog, Once Upon a Time, Nano Fictionary, Why did the Chicken..., Outburst, and many others that escape me at the moment
I hope that my outline helps librarian understand the different games played by their patrons. The first step to relating to patrons that play these games, is to be familiar with the different types, and offer a place at the library for them to possibly play.

1 comment:

Josh B. said...

Many of the games you listed are excellent games and would be fun to use for library programing. One other board Game I would highly reccomend is Eurorails. It is a Mayfair game similar to Empire Builder but it is based in Europe rather than the US. It is also a lot more fun than its counter part. Also there is a free downloadable version of those games called Rails which is a fun adaptation.