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Nov 1, 2009

Games Preview at JRL

Uncle Yip and family registering for the games session.

On Saturday, Oct 24, I went to the Jurong Regional Library for the Games Preview Session at the invitation of Ivan Chew, the Rambling Librarian.

On the way to the library, I dropped in at the NTUC Foodfare below the Simei MRT station for a quick bite. Embossed on the glass doors was the slogan: "GO EAT, GO WORK, GO PLAY".

Oh yes! I will go play games which I have not done for a long, long time.

But why go to the library to play indoor games? Why is the Public Libraries organising this preview session? This is certainly something new, a novel concept.

I was curious too, so I decided to accept Ivan's invitation to find out.

The games preview was held at the "Verging All Teens Space" on Level 4 of the Jurong Regional Library.

Arriving at the library at 9:50 am., I was warmly greeted by Ivan at the entrance. A few minutes later, Uncle Dick Yip (also fondly addressed as Unk Dicko) arrived with his wife, 3 grandsons and their maid, just in time for us to enter the library which opens at 10:00 am.

It was the first time I have met Ivan and Unk Dicko in person. We knew each others through our blogs though.

A group photo with Unk Dicko and his family.

Although Unk Dicko is in his early seventies, he is still as fit as a fiddle (or rather a ukulele, his favorite musical instrument ; )   He is every inch a sportsman.

The players engrossed in the Nintendo Wii console games.

Without wasting time, we were quickly grouped into teams.

Each participant gets to play a mix of console games (Nintendo Wii, Xbox360) and also board games (e.g. Carcassonne). The session was facilitated by the librarians and volunteers.

Picking up a piece of real estate in the "Carcassonne" board game.

The first board game I played was "Carcassonne".

The Games Lead was Aloysius Chiew, President of the  NTU Board Games Society.  My team mates were Cheryl Chia from NTU and Raymond Liew from Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

This is a fast moving, strategic game and I like it.

The next game we played was Rat-a-Tat CAT, a fun card game.

Moving on to another game station, I played Blokus,  a Tetris-like game with a different group of players.

Sebastian Tan from NTU was the Games Lead.

It was not as exciting as "Carcassonne" though.

"Is this how you activate the bowling ball?" I asked my young friends.

Due to time constraint, the last game I played was the Nintendo Wii bowling game.

I found the Wii game the most fun of all. It is an interactive "virtual reality" game which I enjoyed very much. My young gamer friends also patiently demonstrated to me how the game should be played.

Unk Dicko, who has a Nintendo Wii system at home, gave me tips on the "Tennis" game console. He is a veteran sportsman, "real" and "virtual"!

My Verdict

The introduction of games as part of the library's enrichment programmes is a value-add community service to attract more youngsters to spend more time in the public libraries instead of loitering in the streets.

Similarly, senior citizens would also spend more time in the libraries with an alternative source of entertainment to while away free time.

If the young and elderly game players could be teamed and matched as in the game preview session, it would also help in bonding the inter-generational gap. The indoor games we played is suitable for all ages, as long as the players could understand the rules of the games.

It is wonderful to know that the public libraries are no longer just a place to loan or browse books and printed material. It has gone digital and soon to be an "edutainment center" when the pilot gaming project is rolled out and launched to the public.



Blogger Victor said...

So this is what it was all about. Ivan did invite me but I didn't think it would be this interesting. :p

November 3, 2009 at 12:01 AM  
Blogger Unk Dicko said...

Hi James,
What an interesting morning we had that day! My grandkids enjoyed themselves thoroughly including watching how others play. The youngest one, only age 3+,dragged me from corner to corner, cabinet to cabinet,merrily hiding here and there to the chagrin and great amusement of the many students seated on the floor...studying! He entertained them.
Seriously,I applaud wholeheartedly the efforts by Jurong Regional Library to reach out to more people with this new initiative.
It's the way to go.
My kiddos asked me," when are we going again grandpa?"
There's your answer.
ps: typo error in your post. I'm in early sixties.

November 4, 2009 at 12:44 AM  
Blogger Ivan Chew said...

Thanks to James for also inviting Uncle Dicko, who in turn brought his grandkids and his missus. We had a very productive time "live" testing the session and we're glad the participants enjoyed themselves in the process. Ahem... as for Victor... too bad! LOL

November 4, 2009 at 12:58 AM  
Blogger Thimbuktu said...

Oops...sorry for the typo error, Unk Dicko. You look younger than your age.

Glad to know that your grandkids enjoyed the library visit for the games preview. They now know that the library can be a funplace too.

November 4, 2009 at 1:33 PM  

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