Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Library D&D: Can it work?

I have a strong desire to put up a simple paper flyer at my local library (4 blocks up the street here in Chicago) and run a pick-up Swords & Wizardry game for whomever shows up.

I probably wouldn't be out of line to assume that I'll get mostly younger players, folks who have probably not played a pen-and-paper rpg—but it's possible I'll draw some older players as well.

I mean, didn't D&D get promoted early on by local libraries as a way for bookish kids to make friends and stay social? Is it possible to re-capture that excitement today? Can the "neighborhood game" be re-created in an era of iPods and video games and reduced attention spans?

Last month I wrote an article about gaming in libraries; it focused mostly on video game events. But everyone I spoke to was enthusiastic about the idea of bringing in kids and showing them how to have some good, clean fun in their local library.

It would certainly make for an interesting social experiment.

6 comments:

Tyler said...

It can most definitely work. An area library has hosted a few overnight roleplaying sessions in the past: http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080323/FEATURES07/88205005

d7 said...

GeekDad, who writes for the Wired RPG blog, runs regular library games. I don't have a link handy at the moment, unfortunately, but a quick search should turn something up.

Current Version said...

Do it.

gnombient said...

Library D&D can definitely work. I ran S&W White Box games for kids at a local library branch for a few months before being transferred. It wasn't an organized, regular event -- just pick-up games -- but the kids who played had a great time. If you're interested, my blog has some notes, reflections, and houserules:
gnombient.wordpress.com

Reading your post has gotten the wheels in my head turning about library gaming again... Thanks!

PatrickWR said...

@gnombient: That's exactly what I'd like to do—run a drop-in/drop-out dungeon crawl type of game for whomever shows up on a given day. Really, I just want to introduce kids to the idea of roleplaying on a tabletop. Did you run into any attention span problems during your games?

gnombient said...

There were a few problems, but nothing that wasn't to be expected -- we were playing at a table in the childrens' room, which as I'm sure you know can be incredibly loud and chaotic...

I laid down the ground rules before play began (no throwing dice, horseplay, etc.). Character creation was quick, and once the action started the kids were pretty attentive.