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Eli Neiburger’s Presentation at the Gaming Symposium

The Payoff, up close and personal”
“Gaming can be expensive. It doesn’t need to be expensive, but it can rapidly become expensive.”
Some quotes and observations:
Cost per player at AADL:
2004 $35 (8 station tournament kit, food and promotion/prizes – about $9,500)
2005 $6
2006 $6
2007 $5
You can run a gaming event where the players bring their own gaming devices.
You don’t have to have prizes.
Quote: “Let’s not compare this to the cost per person at the reference desk (grin)”
He is reporting that AADL is averaging a budget of $150 per event. They have a few sponsors too.
Reaching a new audience: average age is 33, 69% of US heads of households game.
Not everyone in our community is a recreational reader. Asked, are we excuding some users?
Provocation: “Gamers may be a larger percentage of your user population than readers.”
Only 31% of gamers are under 18, 25% are over 50 – 44% are between 18-49.
80% of gamers report voting in elections.
The numbers of adult women exceed teen boys as gamers.
Pokemon is bigger than ever. Pokemon games have more text in it than any text in the elementary curriculum. High level of gaming sophistication in this population.
Wii is opening up new skill acquisition in gross motor movement (vs. fine motor hand skills).
Gaming connects with teens beyond what other institutions are delivering to them – just plain fun like other library programs.
Recommends that we check out Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets.
Remember that there is a market for gamers as parents.
Try opening up gaming to seniors and Boomers (and the crossover between both)
Example: Wii bowling in Senior’s homes where they maybe can’t pick up the heavy ball anymore but loved the game. DDR too! AADL finds that they cross all generations at DDR tournaments.
Idea: Capture your events on YouTube! (Search AADL as the tag for examples.)
Advertise as “All Ages” events. Try offering prizes for different levels of achievement and for teams (like parent/child, senior/teen, etc.).
Eli encourages participatory sessions and conversations through content between adults, staff and kids – primary and secondary audiences).
He described Competitions as participation. 10,200 blog comments of their 11,000 comments on all of their blogs at AADL are from teen gamers.
You can find examples of tournaments, rules, styles and blog comments on the AADL site.
AADL does colour commentary and has play-by-play done by the gamers themselves. It is so successful they have to have auditions now!
It’s OK to cross market other services and programs but DON’T give them a bibliography!
It’s a reward for the website such as clan leaders, single player leaders, final four scores, etc.
‘Points’ can be regarded as rewards / prizes too.
Scatter gaming periodicals, cheat books, manga, anime, graphic novels around the room.
AADL does not circulate games.
Can a library be a source of ‘cred’ in their lives?
1. Demonstrate metrics for winning and substance for players.
2. Rank has its privilege… You can track your improvements on your scores in tournaments (You can see this AADL)
3. Don’t put them in your commercial or ads without permission (I don’t want the cool kids to know I’m here.)
4. Are there positive social values to being at the library? They will come to other events -not just gaming.
5. AADL broadcast their tournaments on cable access TV.
6. Some kids who are too small or whatever can’t excel at physical sports at school or gym class but can excel at gaming tournaments and ‘win’. It can be a life changing experience in the neutral library space (confidence and self-esteem)
7. You can make points for reading a book, teaching an adult how to play, playing yourself….
Kids (and most gamers) recognize that gaming can be ‘hard’ but it’s also ‘challenging’.
Eli showed a preview of a cool 10 minute video of his events and users. Cool. Made it real. I’ll look forward to seeing the final cut (about 30 minutes) on his website and YouTube.
My fave quote from the video: “I don’t think of the library as being oild-fashioned anymore.”
Eli announced that GT System will be available free to all libraries to manage gaming events. See it here.
Vision: Open possibilities – United under this system — You can even do synchronized tournament days between libraries! (Launch plan – July 2008)
Eli’s slides are here:

Posted on: July 22, 2007, 4:49 pm Category: Uncategorized

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  1. In an effort to get teens into library, we are considering a gaming tournament. I am unfamiliar with gaming, and so will have to seek out an expert as plans progress.
    But right now I wonder if the games can be played entirely online thru the gtsystem, or if we need the actual mario brothers or ninetnedo or wii boxes and the games? or online connection only? or online connection, boxes and games.