The teens here, like teens everywhere are Anime and Manga stans, so prior to my arrival at the East Orange Public Library, the teens already had a healthy Anime Club that they call the Otaku Guild. Otaku is a Japanese term for expert in anime and manga fandom.
Now...make no mistake - my junior high obsession of Sailor Moon does not an Otaku make! Despite this flaw, every month I geek out on Japanese and Anime culture with a group of guys, and sometimes girls. (Yay! Go Anime Girls!)
Every month I try to plan something different, and sometimes the things are hit or miss. Yesterday we played Otaku Bingo. A game that is fun and simple, and gets the kids totally invested in the anime, as well as adds a competitive edge to the watching experience. As my teens are Yu-Gi-Oh obsessed, they also played the Yu-Gi-Oh card game, and watched Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's (I don't know the difference between regular Yu-Gi-Oh or Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's....but apparently there's a difference.)
This entire event cost the library $0. So let me tell you how it went down.
I created the BINGO cards from a template I'd found online. Apparently...someone had the ingenuity to initially create this game as a drinking game - in the adult version you drink shots. In my teen friendly library program - BINGO winners get a prize from an ominous black bag. The BINGO card looks like this:
In each box, I put recurring themes, actions, characters that are common in anime. Examples: Chibi's, Unnaturally colored hair, Magical Girl, picture in picture, fighting sequences..... As each happen in the watched anime, players place a chip on their board, you get 5 marks in a row, and you have BINGO. The guys loved it. I had about 10 teens show up yesterday, and we had a good time. 1 guy even won a prize (a craft bag - don't judge me, I used the prizes we have on standby from other events!) We watched the anime on Crunchyroll, under a free membership Crunchyroll offers to libraries and schools - I know...cool right. All they ask: That you complete a survey at the end of each watch. We also keep snacks on hand to serve at all our events, so I gave out some bags of chips - much appreciated to a room of hungry teen guys. All in all a win-win program. The guys had fun, and I didn't have to submit a reimbursement slip to the library! #WINNING!