04 Oct Game jammers invading Oslo’s main library
This weekend 60 game jammers took over Oslo’s main library Deichmanske and instantly created a new record. It’s the first time in the library’s 231 year long history that they hosted an event where anybody stayed the night.
– This was such fun – and we hope to be able to do this every year from now on, says project manager Marte Storbråten Ytterbøe.
The Deichmanske game jam was arranged by Hamar Game Collective and Deichmanske in collaboration, and was part of a 2,5 year long game project by Deichmanske and Bergen Public Library called Gamebrary.
– The interest for games has grown a lot in Norwegian libraries, but was typically managed by eager individuals and not part of a larger plan. A couple of years ago, we decided to gather all these librarians in one network in order to learn more about games and how we can integrate them in our libraries in a better way, says Marte.
HGC became a partner for Deichmanske in this project quite early on, and Ole Andreas Jordet and Kristina Halvorsen from HGC have spoken at several of the network’s meetings.
But this weekend it was time for the largest event so far – the first ever game jam at Deichmanske. Marte sums it up with a big smile.
– It was just so nice. The atmosphere was so good – gamers are such nice people. And we are very happy to have attracted new people who didn’t have an active relationship with our library, says Marte.
– It was so cute when people brought their pillows to our library. That’s a real first. But I am surprised that they didn’t drink more coffee, though, she says, after being the host for 60 game jammers over 24 hours.
Kristina Halvorsen, who has a bunch of experience arranging game jams, is also very happy with the event.
– The games that were made this weekend were amazing – it shows we got some really skilful people around in Norway. And this is even better when we look at the people attending! Most of them are game development students, or people working on games on a hobby basis. We had some people from the business as well, and it’s really great for the ones with less experience to get mixed in with those that work with games. We had 60 jammers, and even someone from the Board Game Guild (Brettspillskaperlauget) came and jammed with us! A game jam is all about learning about yourself and your skills, and it’s such a creative mix of people so that everyone can try new things.
Her and Ole Andreas’ next Deichman-challenge is to speak at the final Gamebrary conference for Norwegian librarians in November. At that event, the future of the libraries’ focus on games will also be discussed, based on the experiences they’ve had these last years with activities such as LAN-parties, escape rooms and now also game jams.
And Marte ends our chat with a new challenge – if you have suggestions to ways in which the libraries of tomorrow could present games and arrange meet-ups for game interested people, please mail them to her on this address.
Top photo: thank you to Sean Hayford Oleary (Deichmanske Bibliotek), via Wikimedia Commons