Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gaming (unplugged) @ your library

I would like to thank my brother-in-law for introducing me to several games that I have been incorporating into the teen book club at this branch, which is really more of a teen advisory board (TAB) in terms of its incredibly loose organization and that we rarely talk about the book for more than 15 minutes.
The first game I played with them is already popular with the families in the area, and I know of several other libraries that utilize this game in teen events. It is, of course, Apples to Apples. We are actually running a programming-session long Apples to Apples Tournament (probably through Thanksgiving) at our weekly teen meeting. Most of the teens play individually, but several of them chose to pair off (generally the younger ones). There are some really good players. I like this game because it encourages creativity and silliness at a time in life when those qualities are not necessarily rewarded in teenagers' daily lives.
Yesterday I threw in a new game to mix it up a little bit, Fluxx. It was pretty chaotic in the room, as Fluxx is designed for no more than 6 players, and we had 12 (in teams of two). The neat thing about Fluxx is that the rules are always changing, so it stresses concentration and focus. It also has a huge element of strategic thinking, which the teens who stayed after the official end of Book Club to try and play against me decided to turn into "How can we play so Annie doesn't win?" I still won though. If I were making this a regular occurence, I would want to pick up another pack of cards or two, so we wouldn't all be playing one game and I could walk around and mingle a bit more.
I think next week we will try Nanofictionary, and I will probably let the teens who are more shy start a game of Fluxx while those brave enough for public performance wrestle with yet another game. I like the Nanofictionary says right on the box: "Some imagination required"

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