by Shwetha Sundarrajan
International Games Day was celebrated in an open play event on Saturday, November 10th at Bracken Library in honor of International Board Games Week. The event featured tabletop and board games for casual and competitive patrons to play. Games such as Settlers of Catan, Risk, Scrabble, and Tikal were available for eventgoers to play. Joseph Roberts, an Information Services Librarian, says that he was inspired to host this event at Ball State after doing a similar one as a graduate student.
“We started doing these five years ago around this time of year. It ties in with a larger international event called International Games Week that is organized by the American Library Association,” Roberts said.
Although turnout had been pretty light for the event, there was still a group of students enjoying a game of Catan. “We have a Settlers of Catan tournament that we run on these Saturday events, so there are a few people who are playing Catan now and they’ll ultimately all play four games and no one is eliminated,” Roberts said. Contrary to the ever-growing digital game era, board games have actually grown in popularity. In the last year, board game sales in the U.S. grew by 28 percent, per NPD Group, and global sales increased to $9.6 billion.
And that’s what Roberts aims to do with the International Games Day event. “In keeping with the larger purpose of International Games Week is to celebrate the intellectual, social, and recreational value of all sorts of games. We happen to do board games because we have quite a bit of them around here and because of the ongoing popularity,” Roberts said.
However, the fun doesn’t end there. Students can check out various board games for up to two weeks, said Head of Educational Technology and Resources Collection Lisa Jarrell. “All students need to bring is their student ID, come to the lower level of Bracken to the Educational technology and resources center and they’ll be able to rent any board game for 2 weeks.”
The Educational Technology and Resources Center has over 200 board games for students to check out, including both educational and children’s games. According to Jarell, Settlers of Catan is one of the most popular game to be rented.
Click the image below to see more from the tournament!
Photography: Shwetha Sudarrajan