, Muskogee, OK

November 1, 2012

Saturday is game time at MPL

By Travis Sloat
Phoenix Correspondent

— Muskogee Public Library is calling all gamers — video and board alike — for a chance to show off their skills at International Games Day on Saturday.

Jeremy Jones, an assistant at MPL, said this is the first year the library has joined in on the worldwide event.

“It’s been going on for five years,” Jones said. “We’ve gotten a lot of response from it so far, and a lot of people are excited about it, especially the gamers who come in regularly to play our Nintendo Wii.”

The event, which is an initiative of the American Library System, sets out to reconnect communities through their libraries around the educational, recreational, and social value of all types of games, according to an ALA press release.

“Games, like libraries, are ever changing and intergenerational,” ALA President Maureen Sullivan said. “No matter what age, game or experience level, gaming in libraries provides a space for diverse groups of people to come together in a way they can’t anywhere else in the community — in the spirit of play.”

Last year 28,000 people in 14,000 libraries from 14 countries participated in the event. Big numbers are expected again this year.

Stephan Matson, who recently moved to Muskogee from Hollywood, Calif., said he might be helping Jones out by fielding questions as a video game expert Saturday.

“I think video games are the next movies,” Matson said. “People get to decide their own fate, and in the end you get to start over again. I’ve worked on a couple of books about gaming, and anything that sparks interest in young people’s minds is a good thing.”

Jones said the panel of video game experts would be on hand from 4 to 5 p.m. Saturday to discuss both the history and future of games, as well as answer any questions the public might have.

There will be a “Super Smash Brothers” tournament from 1 to 3 p.m. Registration for that will be from noon to 1 p.m.. Alongside the video games, there will be board games and even a new twist on a classic game.

“We’ll be playing human tic-tac-toe,” said Jones. “It’s a bigger board, and instead of  Xs and Os, we’ll be using real people. We’ll also have the XBOX Kinect set up for a dance contest.”

There will also be puzzles for those who prefer a quieter approach, as well as open gaming times in between tournaments for those who like recreational gaming instead of competitive.

WHAT: International Games Day.

WHEN: Noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

WHERE: Muskogee Public Library.

COST: Free.

INFORMATION: (918) 682-6657.