By Christie McNeal/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Want to have a good time, make some friends and challenge yourself socially and mentally? Then Gamers Night is for you.
Once a month, gamers of all ages come together at the Lee County Library. For two hours, they enjoy board games and card games provided by the library and even bring their own games to share.
Amanda Stegall-Armour, who started Gamers Night, said she is not sure there is a typical gamer. She said she would describe a gamer as “pretty much anybody that just likes to have fun with other people … working to achieve a goal.”
Gamers Night, according to Stegall-Armour, is very casual. People can show up any time between 5 and 7 p.m. Games are spread out on tables, and gamers are free to choose their favorite.
“We just kind of let them do their own thing,” said Stegall-Armour, who said she typically spends most of the night making popcorn for everyone to enjoy.
The popcorn and drinks come out of the library budget, and gamers, Friends of the Library and Walmart have all donated games and money to make the night possible. The group has even picked up a sponsor, Tupelo Sportscards, which has made giving out more prizes at the end of the night possible.
“Kids really get excited about getting a pack of cards,” said Stegall-Armour.
A Nintendo Wii was also recently donated to the library, and Stegall-Armour said she hopes to be able to incorporate video games into Gamers Night soon.
“We haven’t gotten that far yet,” she said.
Stegall-Armour got the idea for Gamers Night while doing research for her master’s at the University of Southern Mississippi in library science.
“There are tons of articles on it,” she said. Gaming is very popular around the country.
Stegall-Armour said there are many skills and positive things that come out of simply playing games. Modern games are more about cooperation and don’t eliminate people, she said. You play against the game, and try to beat the game itself.
“That’s what I love about them,” she said. “One decision can affect the outcome of everything. Unintentionally, you learn how to strategize.”
Stegall-Armour said everyone is especially good about helping put the games away at the end of the night. They have learned to work together and feel like part of a team.
“It’s just good social and life skills,” she said. “It’s an all-around good thing.”
Where: Helen Foster Auditorium, Lee County Library
When: 5-7 p.m., second Monday of each month
Who: all ages welcome, familyfriendly
Phone: Amanda Stegall-Armour at (662) 841-9013
Facebook: Gamers Night at the Lee County Library