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By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
Libraries are usually seen as quiet places of solitary learning, but on Thursday night, August 8, Wellesley Library was home to a video game tournament featuring players ranging from second grade to high school. And while anyone could hypothetically set up a console and try to figure it out themselves, the library brought in professional help in the form of One Up Games of Plainville, making for quite the high-level tournament.
With over six consoles going at once, the double-elimination tournament saw tons of kids playing at once, and even - the kids who lost were eventually allowed to find another losing player and set up a game. The game the kids were playing was Super Smash Brothers on the Nintendo Switch, which One Up's Corey Atwood explained is a fighting game featuring every Nintendo character you can think of.
Why that game? According to Librarian Quincy Knapp, it was the one with which kids seemed most familiar.
“We’re really excited to explore new avenues of bringing the community together," she explained. "This is our fist setup of a video game tournament, and it’s nice to have the professionals come in and help us out with that - I thought [Smash Bros] seemed like the most popular one that most people knew how to play.”
Like the pool shark that walks into a bar and snaps his cue together, a couple of kids showed up with their own controllers, and a few more were upset because they didn’t know they could have brought their own.
But while people that grew up in the arcade era understand the concept of playing video games in the same room, it's fascinating to watch the online gaming generation discover in-room multiplayer. According to Atwood, the social aspect of it makes more of an experience than merely playing video games.
“We’re trying to offer more of a social experience, and a place for people to gather," he explained. "With everybody playing video games inside, alone, there’s less of a social experience - it’s all online. When kids get together to play, you meet new people, you’re going to be more social, so we offer more of an experience than just a game.”
Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Some of the lesser players even found themselves slumping over the backs of some of the better players, trying to watch their matches.
While video games have been a bit of a whipping boy lately for a wide variety of issues, it was good to see the Wellesley Library recognize how they can bring people together.