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Gaming at GEPL

Posted: May 10, 2019

By: Joshua O'Shea, Young Adult Librarian

Virtual Reality (VR) can expand our horizons and help us experience new places or things. In 2018, the library had a VR Club for high schoolers that met a few times a month to try out different games and rate them for future use. There were a few regulars who came every time. Others only came for one session. But no matter who was there, it was a time where everyone could connect by talking about their individual experiences with the current VR game at hand as well as favorite videogames and other tech or non-tech experiences, like actual rock climbing.

This was also an opportunity for me to give some of the high schoolers a chance to take ownership. They would set up the gear and walk fellow gamers through the process. Responsibility can be a nerve-wracking thing, even if someone has wanted to be the leader for a while and feel prepared. I love to work with individuals who are ready for a challenge, even if they might not have lead in the past. There are fewer satisfying things in life (even hiking in a giant wood to find mushrooms or making an amazing smoothie) than encouraging others to push through their jitters and have a great time.

Old school gaming, whether pinball or board games or cards, all have a teambuilding aspect. I remember in high school, my friends and I had a Risk game going for a whole weekend. We had set it up in one guy’s kitchen and just left it there. At times, someone would get so angry they’d storm out of the house, leaving everyone else laughing. I think we all took turns being the guy who got pounded!

We have some board games at the 2nd Floor Information Desk that anyone can use in the library—whether you want to goof off with Trivial Pursuit, conquer the world with Caton, or, yes, get fragmented in Eastern Europe with Risk. Members can also sign up for hour-long sessions with the Oculus Rift!

The whole point is to immerse yourself in an imagined world. Games leave it all up to you! They can take some effort, but oh, is it fun when you and a few other people get hooked on doing the same thing together!

Learn more about all the games, tech, media, and online resources GEPL has to offer at ChecktheLibrary.org. And be sure to register for Game On! Summer Challenge beginning June 10 to cash in for some great prizes.

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