The first annual Good Library Geek Off came to a conclusion Monday morning with an awards ceremony announcing the winner. Summer Cooper took home the first place honors with her board game Survive College: Goshen Edition. Isabella Ruiz placed second with a “Doctor Who” fan song and Fae Sommers won third with custom Dungeons and Dragons playing cards.Cooper chose a Nintendo Switch Lite for her prize. Ruiz took home a custom “geek box” created by the library for whatever fandom she wanted, and Sommers received VIP tickets to the Hall of Heroes Comic-Con in Elkhart.
For some, the decision on what project to do would have been stressful. For Cooper, however, it was a no brainer.
“I really like Goshen and I was thinking what fandom should I do?” Cooper said. “I really like board games — I have [around] 100-200 in my room alone so I know everything about board games.”
Each entry went through a judging process where seven judges evaluated the piece on its originality, creativity, technical qualities and overall “wow factor.” The scores from each judge were then averaged out to create the final number.
From the perspective of the librarians, the contest was a success. “We were pleasantly surprised about the turnout,” said Kelsey McLane, who organized the event. “We know everyone is busy, so having 15 entries was wonderfully overwhelming.”
For each contestant, the inspiration behind their project came from a different place. For Benji Wall it came from a love for Dungeons and Dragons and a new medium to experiment with: concrete. What resulted was a 10-pound, 20-sided dice called “D20.”
“I made it in highschool in an intro to construction class,” Wall said. “I have a lot of [Dungeons and Dragons] stuff at home, including a massive amount of dice.”
For Cooper, creating a board game about her time at college allowed her to acknowledge the people who have impacted her the most.
“I included my friends and teachers in the game because they’ve all impacted me in some way,” Cooper said. “I wanted to show how much I care about them and show appreciation for how they’ve impacted me.”
“I’ve played it like 100 times; it’s so much fun,” she added. “All my friends love it.”
For the librarians, the success of the contest serves as encouragement to continue. Ideas are already being proposed for next year.
“We’re definitely doing it again,” McLane said. “We’re hoping now that it’s been done we can promote it and spread it with word of mouth. We’re always hoping for more money for bigger prizes too.”
McLane is hoping that the success of the contest will help kick-start other fun activities.
The librarians want people to know that “we’re here for research and all that academic stuff, but we’re also here for fun,” McLane said.