In Our June, 2017 Issue:

Players of All Stripes Unite at Game Night


As I walked into the quiet Library and Learn­ing Cen­ter on the St. Paul cam­pus, I thought it was an odd place for a noisy night of games. I headed to the stu­dent lounge on the first floor, where the library offers Game Night the third Tues­day of every month.

When I arrived, I was greeted by library tech­ni­cian Dylan Har­ris as he hooked up a Super Nin­tendo — just one of the many sys­tems avail­able to play. Har­ris and librar­ian Jen­nifer DeJonghe are the mas­ter­minds that brought this event to the Metro State community.

Joined by librar­ian Alec Son­steby this year, the Game Night team has expanded the library’s game col­lec­tion to include table­top and board games — all of which can be bor­rowed by library cardholders.

We know that not every­one can stick around and we want peo­ple to have fun,” Son­steby told me when I asked how to check out games. “[We want peo­ple] to play games and learn new ones and we want peo­ple to take them home.”

That raised a ques­tion about logis­tics: How do they keep track of the numer­ous game pieces in a board game? The library uses the honor sys­tem and expects patrons to com­mu­ni­cate prob­lems with the librar­ian on duty. Usu­ally there are no issues as the library can often replace miss­ing pieces.

Game Night has grown since its ori­gins as a once-​a-​semester event started by librar­ian DeJonghe. “It was about two years ago and it began as a video game night,” Har­ris said. Once Son­steby was on board, they expanded into table­top games, to appeal to the diverse mix of gam­ing subcultures.

The library’s video game col­lec­tion ranges from old-​school clas­sics like Tetris on the NES, to Mario Kart on the Super Nin­tendo and the Wii, to FIFA Soc­cer for the PlaySta­tion 4. Librar­i­ans will expand the game col­lec­tion as demand increases.

In most instances the table­top games take 15 to 90 min­utes to play so play­ers can try sev­eral dur­ing a three-​hour Game Night. I tried two table­top games: Car­cas­sonne, a world build­ing tile game, and Splen­dor, a card game where you work your way to 15 points by acquir­ing gems and cards.

My fel­low play­ers were not only stu­dents and staff, but mem­bers of the com­mu­nity as well. In fact, the biggest group at Game Night was kids from the sur­round­ing neigh­bor­hood. They min­gled eas­ily with adults in a uni­ver­sity setting.

I felt Game Night rep­re­sented our school well to the com­mu­nity, and showed a strong campus-​community con­nec­tion. I plan to bring my fam­ily to the event in the future

While some gam­ing sys­tems like the Super Nin­tendo were donated to the library, the PlaySta­tion 4 and many of the nearly 70 table­top games were acquired with fund­ing requests. The goal now is to add one board game a month and pos­si­bly another video game system

For Game Night updates, text “@libgamers” to num­ber 81010 or send a blank email to libgamers@​mail.​remind.​com. For more infor­ma­tion about Game Night, email dylan.​harris@​metrostate.​edu.